A worker constructing the Butendiek offshore wind farm has been seriously injured in an accident at the site.

The 60-year old man was injured by a fastening rope while preparing to install a monopile, according to press reports. Developer WPD says that the cause of the accident, which happened in the early hours of the morning of July 7, 2014, is unclear.

The incident came just days after a barge carrying cable for the link between Butendiek and an offshore grid hub capsized off the coast of Italy.

No crew were injured in that incident, according to Augustea Anchor Marine Transportation, owner of the cable barge AMT Explorer, and cable manufacturer Prysmian.

The worker was taken to hospital by rescue boat and helicopter and has suffered bone fractures and internal bleeding. He is a Danish employee hired by contractor Ballast Nedam, according to WPD.

Ballast Nedam, a Dutch construction firm contracted to engineer, build and install the project’s 80 monopile foundations, said it would cooperate fully with investigations carried out by the relevant authorities. It has also launched its own investigation.

"This is the first accident with such a severe impact during installation activities of monopiles by Ballast Nedam," the firm said in a statement. It announced in June that the first of 80 transition pieces at the 288 MW offshore project had been installed.

The Butendiek project comprises eighty 3.6 MW turbines and is due to start operating in 2015. It is located in the German Bight, 32 km west of the German island Sylt.

According to World Maritime News, the AMT Explorer capsized 50 km from the coast of Sardinia on July 3, 2014 while under tow. It was carrying €28 million of cable manufactured by Prysmian to link the Butendiek wind farm to the SylWin 1 grid hub and the 210 MW Deutsche Bucht wind farm to the BorWin Beta platform.

Prysmian said that the cargo is most likely to have been lost.

Sian Crampsie