Navigational Hazard: Wave Buoy Breaks Free from Mooring at West of Orkney Wind Farm Site


A 250kg wave buoy associated with the metocean survey at the West of Orkney Wind Farm site in Scotland has broken free of its mooring, according to a notice to mariners issued Wednesday by Xodus Group, on behalf of the wind farm developer Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL) said. 

"The wave buoy is mobile and has been drifting toward the NNE from its original location. The buoy is currently powered and transmitting position information. The full mooring includes a subsurface flotation and rope to 450kg clump weight anchor. It is not certain where the mooring detached, but the sub-surface floatation should be considered present and would be approximately 10-15m below MSL," the notice reads. 

"At present the wave buoy is located at: 59° 26' 45.0"N 4° 17' 39.9" W – 07:30 UTC 11/04/2023," notice to mariners read on Wednesday.

The unit that broke free is a Datawell Wave buoy measuring directional waves, temperature and current. It is yellow, weighs 250 kg, and its stainless steel hull is one meter in diameter with an aluminum triangle. 

OWPL, a consortium of TotalEnergies, Corio Generation, and RIDG, has been in contact with a vessel contractor who is currently preparing a vessel to perform both the recovery and re-deployment as soon as possible.

The West of Orkney Windfarm joint venture partners secured rights to develop the 2 GW project in the ScotWind leasing round, which was announced in January 2022. The wind farm will be located 30km off the west coast of Orkney in Scotland.


Wave Buoy - Drifting from position - 59°26.750'N004°17.665'W

Mooring Location - 450kg Clump Weight Anchor - 58°55.779'N003°56.180'W

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