Irony alert – wind turbine involved in petroleum spill at sea

Walney Offshore Windfarm - - 2391702.jpg
Walney Wind Farm under construction in 2011

Hazard to navigation?

Danish ‘Safety Ship’ OMS Pollux, leaking oil after colliding with Morecambe Bay wind turbine

A SHIP is leaking diesel after crashing into a wind turbine off the coast of Morecambe Bay.

Liverpool Coastguard has been in attendance since just after 9am this morning co-ordinating the recovery of the stricken vessel which collided with part of a turbine at Walney Wind Farm.

walney_wind_farmOMS Pollux has since been leaking marine gas oil, or diesel.

The Danish-registered vessel, with a crew of around 18 on board, remains afloat and there are no reported injuries.

The coastguard revealed that since hitting the turbine pile it has managed to move under its own power to a location north of the port of Liverpool, taking it away from ‘environmentally sensitive areas’.

h/t to WUWT reader “saveenergy”

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August 15, 2014 4:08 am

So the “Bird Choppers” are now “Boat Choppers”, interesting. They want to put hundreds Bird/Boat Choppers off the NJ coast in the next few years. Entire East coast
Will not be a good situation with all the boat traffic and Fog.

Bloke down the pub
August 15, 2014 4:21 am

I do hope the wind turbine wasn’t damaged…much.

August 15, 2014 4:26 am

See? All ships should be banned!
But then how do they get the windmills in the middle of the sea?

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
August 15, 2014 4:31 am

It isn’t irony (sorry to be pedantic). Irony is when the opposite occurs of something intended. ‘Situational irony’ is much misunderstood, and (sorry to say this) but Americans not only over-use the word, but get it wrong EVERY time (drives us Brits mad). The brilliant comedy TV series, Frasier, often got it so wrong that it became embarrassing. Always remember; It’s not ironic if you get run over by an ambulance, but it IS ironic if you get run over by an ambulance coming to your assistance.

August 15, 2014 4:32 am

now thats bloody funny!
and was the skipper blind?
or blind drunk?
or are the turbines camo coloured sos not to upset something some ecoloon thought might be scared?
theyre not exactly small objects are they?
how? how?
my sides hurt laughing so much

John Law
August 15, 2014 4:41 am

It’s a start but to get to a really productive position, we will need to introduce a method involving Semtex.
We can then restore our once wonderful Irish Sea vista from the North Wales coast!

August 15, 2014 4:42 am

It was only a matter of time…!
Now, lets have a fully laden supertanker going at full speed with the watch officer having a kip…

August 15, 2014 4:43 am

Sounds like ‘Sod’s Law’ to me, if it’s there somethings going to hit it sooner or later!

August 15, 2014 4:44 am

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Wind blows. Windmills suck.

August 15, 2014 4:47 am

ozspeaksup says:
August 15, 2014 at 4:32 am
theyre not exactly small objects are they?
Neither are they exactly silent, I may add!

Ken Hall
August 15, 2014 4:51 am

I shall pop over and have a look at this. I live very near Walney.

Armagh Observatory
August 15, 2014 4:51 am

Ghost of Big Jim is incorrect by his own definition of irony.
The wind farms were intended to “save the planet” from anthropogenic environmental damage (whatever that means)
A ship crashes into one and as a result, is leaking oil into Morecambe Bay.
It is in fact, the equivalent of being run over by an ambulance coming to your assistance.
Anthony’s use of the word “irony” is correct in this instance, despite being American.
**Pedant mode off**

August 15, 2014 4:57 am

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says: blahblah
It is irony because the thing they thought would save the environment has caused damage to the environment. So there.

Solomon Green
August 15, 2014 5:03 am

Slightly tangential but this article might be helpful to some who are fighting planning permissions for onshore wind or solar farms in the UK.

August 15, 2014 5:04 am

Had to happen and hit by a ”safety ship”. How safe is that? One way to get back some of the subsidy paid over paid to the Danish Power Co. that, I presume, installed these inefficient monstrosities.
Yes, semtex sounds a good idea to give that extra nudge. (tissue a’tissue they all fall over)

August 15, 2014 5:05 am

Subsidy repaid through a massive fine. (please add to above)

August 15, 2014 5:06 am

Irony is such an ironic thing….

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 15, 2014 5:16 am

It’s really hard to make a comment on a news article so completely lacking in obvious and necessary detail, something reporters were at one time expected to learn before they ever got a byline.
(1) was the vessel attending to the turbine in some way or just navigating through the area?
(2) did the vessel impact the turbine pylon, or was it hit by one of the turbine blades?
(3) were there any injuries to the crew? [none stated, but it should have been]
(4) was there any damage to the turbine? [none stated].
It sounds like the hull impacted the pylon; a vessel with a crew of 18 probably isn’t high enough above the waterline to intersect the blade sweep.
The major concern of the article seems to be the fuel spill, and that the leaking vessel is now safely away from “environmentally sensitive” areas. If the turbine location is “environmentally sensitive” one must wonder at the impact of putting the thing there in the first place.

August 15, 2014 5:18 am

I make nothing more of this than I do of the environmentalists that decry every train derailment and every pipeline leak as a major reason to stop looking for oil or gas.

August 15, 2014 5:24 am

The additional irony is that it was a Danish vessel – Denmark having a huge offshore wind turbine ‘fleet’ – so you would’ve thought the skipper knew how to avoid the things…

August 15, 2014 5:45 am

At the first attempt to call for assistance the coastguard officer assumed it was a hoax when he asked for identity and the Danish captain said ” O Pollux”

August 15, 2014 5:48 am

Nothing about this on the BBC website that I can find.
Strange because yesterday the North West local news spent a lot of time with anti-fracking demonstrators and objectors, so oil threats to the environment might be thought to be significant news. Apparently some oil threats are excusable.
There was a plan to extend the area of wind farms off- shore from Lancashire and Cumbria to create an area the size of the Isle of Man. It was objected to by ferry companies operating between Eire , Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and North Wales as a hazard to shipping.
I think that the plans may have been put on hold for the moment , perhaps this incident could make the Govt reconsider.
There are other plans to completely surround England with wind farms . The only good thing about that is , unlike poor Ukraine, we will never be invaded by Putin , his ships would never make it through the wind turbines.

Alan Robertson
August 15, 2014 5:52 am

Wind power deals blow to oil industry
Rare tiny sea creature at risk
Greens rally to ban tanker traffic
More news at 10

August 15, 2014 5:54 am

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
August 15, 2014 at 4:31 am
It isn’t irony (sorry to be pedantic)…

Every time weather gets too hot or too cold for those quixotic beasts to turn, its ironic that costly, wasteful, quick-start natural gas turbines take up the slack.

DC Cowboy
August 15, 2014 5:58 am

“Americans not only over-use the word, but get it wrong EVERY time (drives us Brits mad).”
Hey, at least we’re consistent. 🙂 Your point is well taken. The other word that I find ‘us’ Americans overusing, and using wrong EVERY time (almost) is ‘semantics’.

August 15, 2014 5:59 am

Alan Watt,
Size of crew is no indication – there are ships carrying 15,000 tons of liquid cargo with a crew if 15.

August 15, 2014 6:04 am

Go to for a picture and details of the vessel.

August 15, 2014 6:05 am

Don’t know why the link above doesn’t appear in blue – sorry.

August 15, 2014 6:09 am
One dot too many.
[And three w w w ‘s too few. 8<) .mod]

August 15, 2014 6:09 am

@ WJohn says: Now, THAT’S funny. Of course I had to spend a good few nights in Brit pubs to “get” it.

Pamela Gray
August 15, 2014 6:24 am

The Magna Carta became the bedrock for our Declaration Of Independence. Now that’s ironic. Top that Brit. She said sweetly.

August 15, 2014 6:31 am

That ship is luckier than the millions of bats and birds that get killed colliding with windmill blades. Some have suggested that they are eliminating our Whooping Crane population, an endangered species for the past 60 years.

August 15, 2014 6:37 am

That’s ok, it go’s well with the tailing pond breach out in northern British Columbia. Look at it this way: it gives the economy a boost. Now they can contract out some company to fix the mess and the turbine.
We should have more spills of that nature. God damn petroleum, how else are we going to live.
clearly i’m being sarcastic…

August 15, 2014 6:46 am

As noted above, there is very little detail in the article. I am no fan of these hideous, inefficient and unreliable windmills, and placing them with little regard for navigation is nuts. But, once installed they don’t move around. Did the ship encounter a tempest and was tossed into a windmill? Was is it a navigational error? A problem like that could have tossed the ship upon the rocks, but perhaps a windmill was in the way?
Just wondering…

August 15, 2014 6:48 am

Oh that’s wonderful news. I live in a village on the southern tip of Morecambe Bay and it’s bad enough those many off-shore eco-crucifixes (J. Delingpole ™) blight the view but now they’ve proved themselves to be the hazard to navigation on the approach to the very busy port at Heysham that we’ve feared.
I wondered what the unusual activity was when I walked my dog on the beach this morning. Now I know.
Nothing on the local rag’s website about this (The Blackpool Evening Gazette). So far only the Westmorland Gazette has reported it but not in any great detail and the story comes across as derisory; a nothing-to-see-here attribution. As another commenter pointed out, the local (NW Lancashire) hacks slavishly report everything the local anti-frackers do and say yet about the collision with a turbine….crickets.
It was different when the River Dance container vessel ran aground off Anchorsholme (North of Balckpool) a few years ago. The Gazette was all over that story like a rash.

August 15, 2014 6:54 am

Oldseadog says:
August 15, 2014 at 6:05 am
Don’t know why the link above doesn’t appear in blue – sorry.

There was no leading www or http.

August 15, 2014 8:05 am

I expect the environmentalists failed to anticipate this ‘impact.’
The Liverpool fogs are every bit as opaque (and possibly even more frequent) as those of London, albeit less publicized.
Who are the geniuses (genii?) who thought you could put these obstacles out in the water and NOT have them struck by boats?

Greg Goodman
August 15, 2014 10:41 am

“It is in fact, the equivalent of being run over by an ambulance coming to your assistance.”
No, it’s more like driving into a parked ambulance whilst going to the shops.
Sounds like the maritime equivalent of a tree crossing the road.
Was anyone on the bridge when this happened? If they did not see some thing that size what chance of seeing any small vessels they might ‘wander’ into?
Skipper was probably in the showers discussing his ‘yardarm’ with the first mate.

Greg Goodman
August 15, 2014 10:43 am

Danish ‘Safety Ship’ OMS Pollux… OMS Bollocks, more like.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 15, 2014 11:24 am

Oldseadog says:
August 15, 2014 at 6:04 am

Go to for a picture and details of the vessel.

If this ship is named the Pollux, inquiring minds want to know if there is a sister ship named the Castor. An offshore industry service vessel named Castor leaking oil in an environmentally sensitive area, that would be funny!.
See here for the mythology origin of these names.

August 15, 2014 11:44 am

Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
the “greens” will have some sort of excuse for this we’re sure. Boats collide with rocks all the time, so what’s your point etc etc

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
August 15, 2014 12:14 pm

Armagh and Andrew. Without wishing to get into a debate here on the English language, I’m afraid you are both incorrect – and you probably know that you are. The turbines are not out to ‘save the planet’. If they were, then technically it could be situational irony. But it isn’t. Turbines are merely an alternative to fossil fuel in generating electricity. If a ship sent to clean up an oil spill released oil, then that would be ironic. But a tanker colliding with an alternative form of generating power simply is NOT ironic. Irony is always the OPPOSITE of what was intended, not an alternative to, nor a coincidence, or a chance happening. The word, ‘literally’ has recently been adapted to suit modern use (shamefully so, in my opinion). Let’s not watch without comment when words are misused, it degrades the language rather than adding to it.
Pamela. No, using the Magna Carta as a base for your Constitution is not ironic. Sorry, yet another example of an American not understanding the word. No offence intended.

Alan Bates
August 15, 2014 1:17 pm

I have had number of crashes. I sent a comment. If it is duplicated please feel free to remove and replace with:
I found more information about the collision using Google News, search term: walney wind farm. There is a good write up in the NW News (url 3 lines long; find it on the first page of the search, along with other stories).

Luther Bl't
August 15, 2014 1:26 pm

The British sense of the word irony leaves us Brits with only the problem of finding an American with a sense of irony. American use of the word is more problematic since, on the face of it, it is quasi-heterological (see: – that is to say, if it something is ironic (in America), it is by definition not ironical. I am reluctant to infer the other way, that something said (in America) that is said or written with a straight face, is or must in fact be ironical. (Albeit my reluctance decreases with every year I spend on the internet).

August 15, 2014 1:55 pm

Ghost of Big Jim said:
“The turbines are not out to ‘save the planet’.”
Of course they’re not. You employing metonymy when it’s not the context of the discussion. Turbines (and other inanimate objects) do not have intentions.
But the people who put the turbines there thought they were saving the planet. I’m sure they didn’t intend these turbines to be the cause of environmentally threatening oil spills.
Ironic isn’t it?

August 15, 2014 1:55 pm

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
August 15, 2014 at 4:31 am
It isn’t irony (sorry to be pedantic). Irony is when the opposite occurs of something intended. ‘Situational irony’ is much misunderstood, and (sorry to say this) but Americans not only over-use the word, but get it wrong EVERY time (drives us Brits mad). The brilliant comedy TV series, Frasier, often got it so wrong that it became embarrassing. Always remember; It’s not ironic if you get run over by an ambulance, but it IS ironic if you get run over by an ambulance coming to your assistance.
I have to disagree with you, I would consider being hit by an ambulance something designed to help people to be ironic even if it wasn’t coming to save you.

August 15, 2014 3:04 pm

Well I think there’s an enormous streak of hipocrisy with the Gores et-al private-jetting around the globe.
Or is it hypocrisy?..Or hypocrysy?…
Well I’m going with my first version….Don’t care…

August 15, 2014 5:44 pm

I did wonder about these hazards. I was crossing the English Channel last week, and we came very close to some windelecs (turbines). We were in calm daylight conditions, so no problem, but in rough weather at night the story might be different.

stan stendera
August 15, 2014 7:19 pm

You mods are going to snip what I would like to do to wind turbines so I’m not going to write it. I will say my desire involves civil disobedience.
[This is true. Civil disobedience, unlawful behavior, and just plan old awful behavior are not permitted. .mod]

August 15, 2014 7:39 pm

I hope the 2 Nuclear power stations on the coast At Heysham, a small suburb of Morecambe are ok… erm… No… one was shut down last week after cracks were discovered in the boiler support struts.

Mike McMillan
August 15, 2014 9:17 pm

Semantically ironic open and shut case. Ship captain’s fault, no excuses. He’s going to have a hard time keeping his license.

August 15, 2014 10:24 pm

OMG! Don’t they have radar? Glad they are safe anyway, and the wind turbine kept turning, must be an enormous pile it is sitting on. Could have been worse if it fell on the boat.

August 16, 2014 1:40 am

Pollux to Liverpool-
The ship, owned by Danish firm Offshore Marine Services, was refused entry to Barrow docks because it was leaking diesel oil as a result of the collision.
The ship’s crew was able to move under it’s own steam and was told to await further instruction in waters away from environmentally-sensitive areas.
However, unlike heavier forms of fuel, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said marine gas oil should evaporate or disperse naturally.
After a 36-hour wait, circling in the Irish Sea, the ship was allowed to enter Liverpool Docks. The ship arrived at Birkenhead at around 4pm Friday 14th.
Details –

Mike P
August 16, 2014 1:42 am

We were walking on Silecroft Beach three or four weeks back, it was a lovely sunny and breezy day…..and how many of these ghastly things were generating electricity….you guessed it, not a single one!! The seascape has been blighted by these dreadful things but maybe better out there than spoiling the Lake District, I suppose.

August 16, 2014 3:18 am

bushbunny says:
August 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm
“… must be an enormous pile it is sitting on. …”

Better get that seen to.

Robert Wykoff
August 16, 2014 3:48 am

It could’t have been that “evvironmentally sensitive” of an area if they could simply dump millions of tons of foreign material into the bay to create windmill pylons

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yogyakarta
August 16, 2014 6:34 am

US Constitution and the Magna Carta? I didn’t make that connection. The US Constitution has lots borrowed from the Constitution of the Six Nations Indians which predates it. Is there any irony in that?

August 16, 2014 7:56 am

The Magna Carta is a tax assessment – a list of all land owned in England and its value for
tax purposes: it’s of no use to America. The US Bil of Rights probably has some foundation
in the English Bill of Rights.

Ian E
August 16, 2014 8:49 am

Good grief – surely the Danes have enough of these monstrosities of their own to collide with? But, oh no, they have to come over here to play!

August 16, 2014 10:32 am

these wind turbines leak like Trabants.

August 16, 2014 3:04 pm

( “Sleepalot says: August 16, 2014 at 7:56 am
The Magna Carta is a tax assessment – a list of all land owned in England and its value for
tax purposes:” )
No Sleepalot, you are mistaken
Magna Carta Libertatum or The Great Charter of the Liberties of England is the foundation of the freedom of the individual in England & Wales & limited the power of the monarchy.
It was sealed under oath by King John at Runnymede, England, on 15 June 1215
You are probably thinking of the Domesday Book 1086.
It’s primary purpose was to ascertain and record the fiscal rights of the king

August 16, 2014 9:27 pm

I suspect they put these things out of sea, that no one owns the land. Paying landowners $15,000 a year rental for one, is really offsetting the so called claim they are cheap.

August 16, 2014 9:30 pm

Yes, the Magna Carter signed at Runnymead was signed by King John, after he succeeded Richard the Lion heart. I don’t think he honored it either.

August 16, 2014 9:32 pm

I don’t think many know that the Plantagets were really French speaking they owned a hell of a lot of France when Henry II took the throne. No wonder the French didn’t like us for hundreds of years.

August 17, 2014 12:33 am

( “bushbunny says: August 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm
I suspect they put these things out of sea, that no one owns the land.” )
The UK seabed is owned by ‘The Crown Estate’; they lease areas for development –

Reply to  saveenergy
August 17, 2014 7:25 pm

Ah well that’s better than a consortium of private owners. The crown is not royalty it is the country.

b fagan
August 17, 2014 2:00 am

Golly! Such an instant repudiation of non-fossil energy, what with a single accident. Yes.
As an American I can picture whatever irony some of the commentators alluded to. Imagine the irony of a ship, nearly empty of fossil fuels since the poor thing isn’t a tanker, carrying only a meager supply to get it from place to place, horrifically knocking a fully-loaded offshore wind turbine down into the sea.
All that wind, spreading out from the turbine, spreading a wind-slick onto the water and the shorelines. Gulls, slicked with stiff breezes. Fish blown clean out of the water.
If only it had been an oil rig the ship hit – oh, the horror….

August 17, 2014 2:09 am

b fagan:
I read your nonsense at August 17, 2014 at 2:00 am.
I understand your post to be a statement that – unlike me – you are not being forced to pay for the expensive, polluting and environmentally damaging off-shore bird swatters. Those of us who are being forced – and know we are being forced – do not share your smug stupidity.

August 17, 2014 3:37 am

@ saveenergy: Yes, you’re right.

August 17, 2014 10:03 am

Language evolves and is given meaning by those that speak it. We Brits cant dictate to Americans, Indians, Australians etc on its usage apart from correcting clear mistakes. Worldwide developments in English eventually feed back to Britain. The language is a global project.

August 17, 2014 10:07 am

When offshore wind turbines are eventually decommissioned it will be very important to ensure that the foundation piles are removed so that they do not present a submerged risk to shipping.

August 17, 2014 7:31 pm

On land they take up two acres of concrete, what is the size of these? Anyway, one would think the position they were placed would be very shallow waters anyway. What was a ship doing there.

August 18, 2014 2:14 am

b fagan says
( “As an American I can picture whatever irony some of the commentators alluded to. Imagine the irony of a ship, nearly empty of fossil fuels since the poor thing isn’t a tanker, carrying only a meager supply to get it from place to place, horrifically knocking a fully-loaded offshore wind turbine down into the sea.” )
Oh, the irony of an American (with poor comprehension skills) who misses the ironic point of a ‘Standby SAFETY vessel’ hitting an offshore wind turbine & dumping an oil slick in an ‘environmentally sensitive areas’
& where do you get the idea wind turbines are “non-fossil energy” ????
bushbunny says: “What was a ship doing there.” )
It is a Standby safety vessel – servicing the turbines

August 18, 2014 2:26 am

Walney Wind Farm stands in ≈ 20m 65ft of water

August 18, 2014 10:23 am

From Merriam-Webster online dictionary: “Irony : a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected”
Now, Big Jim. The purpose of windmills is to reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels (you can argue, and I will not dispute, that windmills will not actually accomplish that purpose, but that IS, at least nominally, the purpose of them). One of the many bad things about fossil fuels is the possibility of an ocean-going, fossil-fuel-carrying ship colliding with something and SPILLING fossil fuels into the ocean (In this case, it was the ship’s OWN supply of diesel fuel that spilled, not crude oil that was being transported, and the amount spilled was negligible, but nevertheless, the danger of spilling fossil fuels is the issue). Therefore, one of the things that one (not you nor I, but one who actually BELIEVES the crap coming from the alarmists) might EXPECT, as a consequence of the presence of windmills, is the prevention of fossil fuel spills into the ocean (or at least a reduction in the probability thereof). In this case, it can be said that the presence of that windmill CAUSED a fuel spill into the ocean (admittedly, there were other causes, probably first among them being pilot error, but the presence of the windmill was at least a contributing factor). And so, one of the things that was EXPECTED to be PREVENTED by windmills, was, in this case, actually CAUSED by a windmill. Is “prevented” not the opposite of “caused”? If you like, you can split hairs about the difference between “preventing” and “reducing the probability of”. If you do so, then I would respond that the opposite of “reducing the probability of” is “increasing the probability of”. And clearly, in this case, the presence of that windmill increased (from 0 to some positive value) the probability of that ship colliding with it and spilling fossil fuel. Therefore, however you slice it, it was an IRONIC event, and Mr. Watts was correct in using that word.
And YES, it IS ironic to get run over by an ambulance, whether the ambulance was on its way to save you or not. The purpose of an ambulance is to save lives (either indirectly, by transporting them to an emergency room, or directly, via the equipment and personnel inside the ambulance). In this case, it ended (or at least endangered) a life. Killing (or even injuring) a person is exactly the OPPOSITE of what one would expect an ambulance to do. Or would you constrain the word’s usage in such a way that the person killed by the ambulance must be exactly the same person who was counting on it to save his life? If so, then I guess you Brits don’t use the word “irony” much, considering all the hoops you have to jump through to make it technically true. So I’ll tell you what, Big Jim; why don’t you just consider the American English word “irony” to be a completely separate word from the British English word “irony”, which just happens to be spelled the same way? You know, like “torch”. Speaking of which, you have no business calling us out for using a word to describe something that is merely similar to the technical definition of the word, when you did the same thing with the word “torch”, as used to indicate a flashlight. And you know what, Big Jim? I’d call THAT “irony” too. Because your issue with our “misuse” of the word “irony” is exactly the opposite of what one would expect given your own misuse of the word “torch”
I do, however, agree with you on the misuse of the word “literally”. In fact, I agree with you 110%.

James at 48
August 18, 2014 12:35 pm

Driving down into Barrow and the first sight of the Irish Sea is ruined by these monstrosities. And now, this.

August 18, 2014 8:51 pm

65ft at high tide or low tide? I imagine it is high tide. Oh really it was checking the wind turbines. Gee – oh God, now I have heard it all. You know depending on the depth of the keel, 65 ft ain’t much. You imagine any wave action big waves, it could flounder easily.

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