Vessels transporting workers to offshore wind farms are currently not legally permitted to transport more than 12 people, regardless of vessel size.
To transport more workers to and from their place of work, these boats must currently comply with the safety requirements for passenger ships. The new rules will provide a solution to the growing logistical problems in the operation and maintenance of these wind farms, which are developing further and further from the coast.
Following a six-week consultation at the end of the summer, new legislation will mean offshore wind farm workers will be categorized differently to normal passengers, as they must be fit and have completed specialist safety training and survival at sea.
Starting today (February 9, 2022), High Speed Offshore Service Craft will be able to transport up to 60 workers.
Maritimes 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 am delighted that we can cut red tape while maintaining the highest safety standards to support the offshore wind industry.”
Gwilym Stone, Deputy Director, Ship Standards at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said“This legislation helps support innovation and growth in the offshore energy sector without compromising safety.
“There are currently around 46 such vessels operating in UK waters, this new legislation brings legal clarity to the offshore wind farm industry to transport workers to and from wind farms depending on the capacity of each vessel. . This brings the UK in line with many other countries that already have similar regulations in place.