Transocean Winner Rig Refloats this Weekend

Published at 08:08AM - 19/08/16

The salvage of the Transocean Winner drilling rig that ran aground off the Isle of Lewis due to bad weather earlier this month could be resolved this weekend and towed to a different location to be repaired.

According to a statement issued by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the salvors were yesterday expected to attach a second tow line to the rig.

“Preparations continue for the refloat and – weather permitting – it’s hoped that the remaining diesel oil on board will be transferred later today,” MCA stated.

Transocean Winner Rig Refloats this Weekend

Meanwhile, the transfer of the equipment on the rig by helicopter continues, including compressors that will be used to provide buoyancy for the refloat.

The assessments and stability analysis also continue, with the purpose of ensuring enough buoyancy for the rig, and are being undertaken by Smit Salvage.

Transocean Winner Grounded Rig to Refloat This Weekend
Transocean Winner Continues Aground in the Isle of Lewis

Additionally, the 300 metre (984.25 feet) exclusion zone covering the sea and the temporary exclusion zone covering the air remain in place.

“Any aircraft or drone operator not involved in the operation that breaches that zone will be prosecuted,” MCA informed.

Transocean Holds Refloat Discussions

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

SOSREP was expected to attend a special meeting to discuss plans for the refloat yesterday evening where Shaw would give out a presentation and answer questions along with Transocean officers and the Western Isles Emergency Planning Coordinating Group.

In the meantime, an exercise to test out procedures in case of a fuel spill is to start today at approximately 9 AM.

This will aim to analyse the speed at which equipment can be deployed from Carloway to various locations and is weather and operationally dependent.