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Barrow lifeboat called out after vessel collides with wind turbine off Walney coast

A Barrow lifeboat was called out today after a 450 tonne vessel collided with a wind turbine off the coast of Walney.

Volunteer crew from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) Barrow station today launched their relief Tamar class lifeboat to attend a windfarm support and survey vessel after it had received some damage.

Liverpool Coastguard called the Barrow station after the 40 metre long support and survey vessel, ‘OMS Pollux’, had been at anchor and engaged in operations 12 miles west of Walney when one anchor had suddenly parted, allowing the vessel to swing into a concrete pile of a wind turbine under construction.

The boat was pushed onto it by the flood tide. This had caused damage to the port side of the vessel under the water line and light fuel oil was being released into the sea.

The lifeboat was launched at 10.25am with six crew members aboard, under the command of deputy 2nd coxswain Dave Kell.

The weather was fine and visibility was good, with no wind and a flooding tide which was expected to peak at 2-50pm at a height of 9.5 metres.

The lifeboat arrived at the scene of the incident at 11am and quickly ascertained that the vessel was not taking on any water and that the 18 persons on board were safe, well and uninjured.

Liverpool Coastguard requested the lifeboat to stand by the casualty in case the situation altered and then contacted Barrow Port Control who refused permission for he vessel to enter the Port of Barrow due to the fuel leak.

The vessel was then requested to travel to the Port of Liverpool accompanied by thelifeboat so that repairs could be made.

So as not to leave the sector of the Irish Sea covered by Barrow lifeboat without an all weather lifeboat response to any subsequent emergency, it was arranged that the casualty vessel would be met and escorted by the Lytham and Hoylake lifeboats as it continued its journey to Liverpool.

The Barrow crew handed over the escort to the Lytham crew, 12 miles west of the River Ribble, and the Barrow crew returned to station. The boat was washed off and prepared for the next call by 2-45pm.