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Investigation underway into Siemens Rotra Mare stowaways

An investigation has been launched after cargo vessel crew, transporting Siemens Gamesa turbine components, discovered Albanian stowaways had boarded the vessel. A total of 21 individuals had boarded the
Rotra Mareand hidden in one of the components being transported from Spain.

In the early hours of Tuesday (24 September) morning, approximately five miles off the Norfolk coast, crew aboard the vessel discovered the stowaways and contacted the UK Border Force. The vessel had previously departed from Bilbao, where the stowaways are believed to have boarded, and was loaded out with wind turbine blades destined for the
East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm. Border Force worked with the Coastguard, the Great Yarmouth Port Harbour Master, Norfolk Constabulary and the vessel’s agent to resolve the situation. Border Force officers met the vessel when it berthed at Great Yarmouth on the afternoon of 25 September.

4C got in contact with the home office, which has confirmed that, since the incident took place, the 21 stowaways – 19 men and two minors – were identified as Albanian nationals and are being dealt with in line with the immigration rules. An investigation is underway between the UK Border Force and the Port of Bilbao as to how the stowaways managed to secure access to the vessel.

Rotra Mareis one of two specialised cargo vessels operating under a contract its operator Deugro Danmark A/S signed with Siemens in 2015 to provide two roll-on/roll-off function vessels. The nature of the design means that the loading and unloading of turbine components can be executed without the use of a crane, aimed at saving on costs and time.

The vessel was supporting wind turbine transportation for the
East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm which is owned by ScottishPower Renewables, and Green Investment Group. With an overall capacity of 714 MW capacity, East Anglia ONE will feature 102  Siemens Gamesa SWT-7.0-154 turbines and is located 43km from the coast. Each 7MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbine consists of three, 75-metre fibre glass blades, a 90-metre-high tower and a nacelle.

For more information on offshore wind farms,
click here. Alternatively, you can view projects across the globe using 4C Offshores interactive map.

Image source
Andy - TAXIMAN via Flickr

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