Divers have located around 40 pieces of debris around the site near Dalmore beach, on the Isle of Lewis, where the Transocean Winner drilling rig originally grounded on 8th August.
According to the Maritime and Coastguard agency, the divers are currently working to recover the debris which ranges from laptop size to scaffolding poles with one piece which is thought to weigh about 200lbs (90kgs). All pieces which have been recovered either by manual or mechanical means are being landed and stored temporarily at Carloway.
Deputy Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime Salvage and Intervention, Colin Mulvana said that it’s possible that when the first storms come in, other debris may be disturbed and rest in shallow water or in/on the beach.
“The divers are working very hard to make sure that they are picking up all the bits found on site,” he said. “But there may well be previously undetected debris that may appear following bad weather. A future program of surveys will be discussed and put in place by Transocean in an effort to ensure the area is clear of debris and safe for members of the public.
“Our advice remains the same as it has from the start – please stay off the beach while the diving operation continues and while the Temporary Exclusion Zone is still in place.”
“We know that surfers and walkers, including those with dogs, use Dalmore Bay and will continue to use it after the diving operation is over and the TEZ has been lifted. We’d just like them to be aware of the possibility of debris washing up over the next few months. Just keep an eye out, particularly after stormy weather for anything unusual. If you do, don’t try to pick it up, just call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
The Temporary Exclusion Zone remains in place.
The Transocean Winner was last week towed away from the grounding spot, and remains stable and secured to eight anchors in Broad Bay. There’s no sign of pollution and monitoring continues. Further assessments, including underwater surveys by ROV and divers, continue to take place. Good progress is being made but no decision has been finalised as to where the rig might be taken next, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.