New rules designed to support the servicing of the rapidly growing offshore wind farm industry are coming into force in the UK.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has confirmed vessels transporting those who work on offshore wind farms will now be able to carry more workers at a time while still meeting safety standards.
Currently, these transport vessels for offshore wind farm workers are not legally allowed to carry more than 12 people, regardless of the size of the vessel.
The figure has now been increased to up to 60 workers transported on the High Speed Offshore Service Craft.
Maritime Minister Robert Courts said: “Our offshore wind sector is a key part of our energy infrastructure and one of our great success stories, creating jobs for coastal communities across the UK.
“I’m pleased that we can reduce red tape while maintaining the highest safety standards to support the offshore wind industry.”
The new legislation, which follows discussions between the Agency and the industry, means workers on offshore wind farms are classified differently to normal passengers as they are required to be fit and to have undertaken specialist marine safety and survival training.
Gwilym Stone, Assistant Director, Ship Standards at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: “This legislation helps to support innovation and growth in the offshore energy sector without compromising on safety.
“There are currently around 46 vessels of this type operating in UK waters, this new legislation provides legal clarity to the offshore wind farm industry to carry workers to and from wind farms dependent on each individual vessels’ capacity. This brings the UK in line with many other countries that already have similar regulations in place.”