Early this morning Liverpool Coastguard was contacted by workers on the work barge UR101 reporting that the barge anchor cables were breaking in heavy seas at the Robin Rigg wind farm, under construction by E.ON in the Solway Firth off Cumbria.
The barge had 42 workers onboard and the barge was secured by four anchors, at various times during the night three anchor cables broke leaving the barge secured by only one anchor.
A decision was made to evacuate the barge in worsening weather conditions throughout the night. Initially, 33 workers were evacuated by the barge tug Kingcraig and two support vessels, Voe Jarl and Maggy M.
The nine remaining workers this morning made a decision that the situation had worsened and for the safety of life contacted the coastguard for assistance.
Liverpool Coastguard called out Maryport Coastguard rescue team and requested a helicopter from ARCC Kinloss. Workington RNLI lifeboat was also requested to launch.
The weather in the area is 48 knot winds with squally conditions and a 4-5 metre swell.
Su Daintith, watch manager, Liverpool Coastguard, said: "Our priority at the moment is the safety of life, we have search and rescue units on scene, who are working closely with the barge support vessels to recover all the workers to a place of safety."