An 18-meter end section of the Ocean Cleanup’s System 001, commonly referred to as Wilson, has broken off and the entire system intended for collecting of plastic will now be returned to port for repair and upgrade.
Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of the Dutch environmental organization said that the structural malfunctioning of the cleanup system was discovered on December 29 during a regular inspection.
“Although it is too early to confirm the cause of the malfunction, we hypothesize that material fatigue (caused by about 106 load cycles), combined with a local stress concentration, caused a fracture in the HDPE floater,” Slat added.
“It’s important to note that both the 580-meter main section and the 18-meter end section are both completely stable; all bulkheads are intact, and the end section has two stabilizers affixed to it, so rollover is not possible. Also, because no material was lost, there have been no safety risks for the crew, environment or passing marine traffic. However, as the redundancy in the cleanup system’s sensors and satellite communication (which are mounted on both end sections) has now been compromised, we concluded it is sensible to return to port.”
The pioneering system, comprising a 600-meter-long U-shaped floating barrier with a three-meter skirt attached below, was deployed to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGB) in October. However, during the initial observations of its behavior it has been noted that the plastic sporadically escaped the system, creating a need for fine-tuning of the device.
Ocean Cleanup System 001的18米的部分（通常稱為Wilson）已斷裂，整個用於收集塑料的系統現在將返回港口進行維修和升級。
“雖然現在確定故障原因還為時過早，但我們假設材料折舊（由大約10 6個 負載循環引起）與局部應力集中相結合，導致HDPE浮子斷裂，” Slat補充說。
Information source: World Maritime News Staff , Image Courtesy: GCAPTAIN