Outcome of May inspection of the IMPAQT pilot at the North Sea Innovation Lab

There are setbacks in pioneering, and Friday the 29th of May was one of those. We visited the IMPAQT pilot at plot 1 of the North Sea Innovation Lab for a sonar test, sampling of seaweed and inspection of all the deployed installation. After arriving at the IMPAQT pilot we noticed that the seaweed cultivation system was no longer in place. The main structure with the surface buoys was still intact, but the cultivation net of 30x3 metres was missing.
 
After getting in touch with some of our off- and onshore partners, it turned out that on May 21st the net had been found. It was taken out of the water by the coast guard.
Of course we will investigate the cause of this structural damage. For now it seems like some of the shackles have not survived the force put on them during the recent storms.
 
As you can image, this is quite a disappointment to us: we were looking forward to checking the cultivation system, which by now would have had nice long strings of Saccharina seaweed growing on it. Our main focus now is making sure the conditions of the structures of the other two installations of the IMPAQT pilot (the mussel module and the NSIL data buoy) will be checked. Parallel to that, we will examine the consequences for the affiliated tasks and projects.
 
The IMPAQT pilot is one of the offshore pilots that runs in 2020. To ensure that the sector as a whole will learn from this, we will share our findings with the other pilots. Safety is paramount. For people, environment, material. We will keep you posted!