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Rescue exercise at the EnBW Hohe See offshore wind farm

What to do in case of emergency 100 meters up on an offshore wind turbine 100 kilometres out at sea? This was the scenario for an exercise held by EnBW at its Hohe See offshore wind farm.
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Rescue exercise at sea: With a winch, the patient, simulated by a doll, was pulled into the helicopter with the doctor and flown ashore. (Source: EnBW/Enbridge/Rolf Otzipka)

Stuttgart/Emden. What to do in case of emergency 100 meters up on an offshore wind turbine 100 kilometres out at sea? This was the scenario for an exercise held by EnBW at its Hohe See offshore wind farm.

EnBW’s rescue exercises are planned by occupational safety expert Jochen Kolb: “We have emergency procedures of course that everyone out here knows off by heart. But we also repeatedly conduct exercises out at sea. In a real emergency, every single move has to be spot on.” Kolb assisted with the exercise from aboard the Bibby Wavemaster Horizon service vessel. In the scenario, a technician up in the nacelle had symptoms of a heart attack. A rescue helicopter was summoned and brought an emergency doctor out to the wind farm. The patient, simulated by a dummy, was winched up to the helicopter carrying the doctor and flown ashore. Then the message from the base in Emden: The helicopter had safely landed. A relief for Kolb: “We are well equipped for an emergency. Everyone on the team did exactly what they needed to.”

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Rescue helicopter brings emergency doctor to the wind farm and flies back to shore with patient (Video: EnBW/Enbridge/Rolf Otzipka)

EnBW operates four offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea with a combined capacity of 976 megawatts (MW). The fifth and largest wind farm, the 900 megawatt He Dreiht, is set to go on stream in 2025 in the North Sea. Responsibility for rescues at its offshore wind farms lies with EnBW itself. “We have very high safety standards offshore. That pays off: Our technicians have had very few accidents so far, and they have all been minor,” said Ralf Neulinger, Head of Production at EnBW. Northern Helicopter GmbH stands at the ready around the clock with a crew and an emergency doctor for deployment at sea. Coordination is contracted out to marine emergency management specialists GMN in Bremen. The service vessel also has medically trained staff on board and a treatment room. Digital assistance is available by telemedicine. Specially trained personnel in a hospital, for example, can instruct the crew member to connect up an ECG. The data is transmitted back to the hospital, enabling remote diagnosis while the vessel is still out at sea.

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Rescue exercise at sea: With a winch, the patient, simulated by a doll, was pulled into the helicopter with the doctor and flown ashore. (Source: EnBW/Enbridge/Rolf Otzipka)
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About EnBW

EnBW is one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe, with a workforce of 24,000 employees. It supplies electricity, gas, water together with infrastructure and energy-related products and services to around 5.5 million customers.

Expansion of renewables is a cornerstone of EnBW’s growth strategy and therefore a major focus of capital expenditure. Since the beginning of its corporate transformation, EnBW has invested some €4.7 billion in its Renewable Energies segment. About a further €4 billion is to be invested in the further expansion of wind and solar energy and also in fuel switch activities by 2025. Installed renewable energy capacity will account for 40% of EnBW’s generating portfolio by the end of 2020 and is targeted to reach 50% by the end of 2025. This is already having a noticeable impact in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, which EnBW plans to halve by 2030. EnBW aims to attain climate neutrality by 2035..

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