UK: New restricted zone put in force in grounded rig area as salvage team grows

UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported on Tuesday afternoon that an underwater survey continues to be carried out around the Transocean Winner drilling rig, which is currently grounded off the Isle of Lewis, and that there will be a new exclusion area covering the air. 

The semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner ran aground last Monday due to severe weather while being towed from Norway to Malta.

Earlier on Tuesday, Offshore Energy Today reported that a team of additional six people would join the salvors on board the grounded rig as part of the ongoing salvage operation.

According to the agency’s update on Tuesday afternoon, the survey is assessing the damage and looking at the possible refloating routes for the rig.

A team of salvors remains on board continuing its assessment of the damage and also working to make connections for the towlines. It’s expected that by the end of the day the team number will have increased to 15, the agency said.

After the rig grounded last week, the coast guard warned people not to attempt to visit the area. The agency now added that, as well as the 300m exclusion zone covering the sea, there will be a new exclusion area covering the air.

A restricted area (temporary) is being put in force – any aircraft or drone 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: “The exclusion zone has been put in place for the safety of the operational aircraft working at the scene and also for the teams carrying out their surveys and assessments. Our priority there is to make sure the operation is not compromised.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff