The Transocean Winner semi-submersible drilling rig has run aground in the UK after having been struck by severe storms.
According to a statement by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), overnight on Sunday, Stornoway Coastguard was in communication with the tug Alp Forward which encountered severe weather west of the Isle Of Lewis, Scotland during a towing operation of the rig.
The tug remained connected to the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner overnight but was unable to make headway with the tow. The MCA’s Emergency Towing Vessel Herakles was deployed from Orkney on Sunday night to assist.
At 4.20am on Monday, the master of Alp Forward reported that the tow line had parted and due to the severe weather conditions was unable to reconnect the tow line and the rig is at risk of grounding on the west side of the Isle Of Lewis near Carloway.
The tug Alp Forward remains on scene to visually monitor the rig. There are no personnel on board the rig and there is no risk to life, the MCA said.
While the coastguard said there was a risk of the rig running aground, BBC has reported that the rig actually ran aground in the Carloway area.
“Transocean and ALP Marine have established their emergency response rooms, SMIT salvage has been mobilized to deal with the incident. The MCA’s counter pollution branch and Secretary Of State’s Representative for Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) are monitoring the situation. Local authority and Marine Scotland have been notified,” the MCA said.
MCA Update August 8, 13:09 CET
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has now confirmed the grounding of the rig. Below is a full statement
“Following the grounding of the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner on the Isle of Lewis, the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage and Intervention Hugh Shaw is now in discussions with the owners Transocean and the salvors.
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s counter pollution branch and the SOSREP have both been monitoring the situation since yesterday evening and the local authority, police and Marine Scotland have all been kept informed.
There is 280mt of diesel on board and this situation is being monitored.
The drilling rig has now grounded on the west side of the Isle of Lewis near Carloway. SMIT Salvage has been mobilized to deal with the incident.
Police Scotland and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams are also on scene.”
Also, in the video above one can see what appears to be the rig in question. The video was shared on Youtube on the PepiTV channel.
— Christopher Foote (@ChristopherSTV) August 8, 2016
Offshore Energy Today Staff