Fire in engine room of wind farm workboat Windcat 3

Location: Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm in the Solway Firth, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Windcat 3

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Windcat 3
Registered Owner Windcat Workboats
Port of Registry Fleetwood
Flag UK
Type Wind farm crew/workboat
Vessel Certification MECAL - To MCA Small Commercial Vessel Code, Category 2
Built 2005
Construction Aluminium alloy
Length 14.9m
Total Engine Power 458.79 kW
Gross Tonnage 25.32
Date/Time 07/04/2010, 1515 (UTC)
Location of incident Robin Rigg Offshore wind farm
Incident Type Minor electrical fire in port engine room
Persons Onboard 2 crew, 3 passengers
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Minor damage/None


Windcat 3 was collecting technicians from an offshore wind turbine when there was a noise “like a firecracker”. It seemed to come from the domestic electrical system sockets, but there was no indication of a fire.

On checking the engine room it was immediately obvious that there was an electrical fire of some sort, but there was too much smoke to attempt to enter safely. After shutting off the fuel supply to the engine and closing the vent flaps, the fixed CO2 system successfully extinguished the fire. Meanwhile, boundary cooling and continuous liaison with those ashore was maintained while the vessel returned to port. The vessel was met by the fire and rescue service, who quickly determined that the fire was already out. Damage was limited to one of the two domestic electrical supply inverter units; there was no other damage to the vessel.

Action taken

The MAIB: the Deputy Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to Windcat Workboats commending its crew for their actions in successfully tackling the fire. He has also made suggestions on how to improve some aspects of the CO2 system, fire drills, and operations manuals.

Windcat Workboats: has renewed both inverters on Windcat 3; they are continuing to improve their operations manual and review their safety management system, on an ongoing basis.

Published: June 2010

Published 23 January 2015