A contract has been signed with a Norwegian offshore transport company to move the Transocean Winner drilling rig from the Isle of Lewis to Turkey.
To remind, the Transocean Winner rig ran aground on a beach in Scotland back in August. After two weeks of being grounded in Dalmore Bay, the rig was moved to Broad Bay, where it is currently located waiting to be moved away as a ‘dry cargo.’
The Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage and Intervention is in discussion with Transocean regarding the dry transport of the Transocean Winner drilling rig by a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel from the Isle of Lewis to Turkey.
The MCA on Monday confirmed that a contract has been signed with the Norwegian Company Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT). It is expected that the rig will be floated onto the semi-submersible heavy lift vessel OHT HAWK which is scheduled to arrive in Broad Bay in late September, the agency said.
Hugh Shaw, SOSREP said: “There will be many technical challenges surrounding the operations, however I am satisfied that this is the safest option and it fully meets the requirements to minimize any future risk to safety or damage to the environment. “
The agency added that preparations for the operation are now underway and that the rig remains stable, and is connected to 8 anchors in Broad Bay. A temporary exclusion zone of 1000m has been established in Broad Bay and will remain in place to minimize any risk to safety for other vessels or crafts using the bay. It will also provide a safe working area for divers and other surface vessels supporting the ongoing salvage operation, said the agency.
The MCA noted that a temporary exclusion zone of 750m also remains in place in Dalmore Bay, and although diving operations remain temporarily suspended due to prevailing weather conditions, it is expected that divers will continue to locate and remove debris offshore in close proximity to where the rig grounded and was later refloated and moved to Broad Bay.
The exclusion zone will be lifted when the SOSREP is satisfied that the area is clear and safe for other users. The beach itself is not subject to any restrictions, however as a precautionary measure, there is still additional signage in place advising members of the public of the potential hazards in the Dalmore Beach area.