Grounded Transocean oil rig successfully refloated

A 17,000-tonne oil rig that ran aground on the Isle of Lewis has been safely towed off the rocks. The Transocean Winner rig came ashore at Dalmore Bay during a […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A 17,000-tonne oil rig that ran aground on the Isle of Lewis has been safely towed off the rocks.

The Transocean Winner rig came ashore at Dalmore Bay during a storm around two weeks ago while it was being towed from Norway to Malta.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency flew its Counter Pollution verification aircraft over the area yesterday to examine the water for any sign of discharge, sheen or pollution from the rig.

It detected a slight sheen associated with the ongoing pressurisation of tanks to maintain the rig’s stability. Briggs Environmental is accompanying the tow and assisting by breaking up the light sheen and additional counter pollution equipment is on board “at immediate readiness” should it be required, according to the Agency.

The Temporary Exclusion Zone, which was placed at the time of the incident, will remain until the seabed has been thoroughly checked for any debris or environmental impact.

Hugh Shaw, Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage & Intervention said: “We are taking advantage of the favourable weather conditions following this big step forward and we will continue to closely monitor the rig whilst it is under tow.”

The rig is due to reach Broad Bay this morning.