Salvors to attach second towline, move oil from grounded Transocean rig

Image: MCA
Image: MCA

UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has informed that salvors are planning to attach the second towline on Thursday to the grounded drilling rig, Transocean Winner, off the Isle of Lewis.

Offshore Energy Today reported early on Thursday that the salvage team was looking at possible options to refloat the rig and transfer the fuel.

Preparations continue for the refloat and – weather permitting – it’s hoped that the remaining diesel oil onboard will be transferred later on Thursday, August 18, the agency said in its latest update.

Transfer of equipment to the rig continues by helicopter as part of the ongoing operation. This includes compressors which will be used to provide buoyancy for the refloat.

Smit Salvage continue assessments and stability analysis to make sure it has sufficient buoyancy.
The 300m exclusion zone covering the sea and the exclusion zone covering the air (temporary) remains in place – any aircraft pilot or drone operator not involved in the operation that breaches that zone will be prosecuted.

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage & Intervention said: “We appreciate that there remains huge interest in the rig but we’ve put the exclusion zone in place for safety of the salvage teams and the public too.” 

The agency also confirmed that on Thursday night the SOSREP will be attending a specially organized meeting to talk about the plans for the refloat.

He will be giving a presentation and answering questions along with representatives from Transocean and the Western Isles Emergency Planning Coordinating Group at Carloway Community Centre at 8pm tonight.

An exercise to test out procedures in the event of any diesel oil being spilled will be carried out on Friday, August 19 starting at around 9am.

“It’s a proactive test to look at how quickly equipment could be deployed from Carloway to various locations. This exercise is weather and operationally dependent,” the agency concluded.

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