Transocean Winner, the semi-submersible drilling rig that had run aground on a beach in Scotland back in August, has yet to leave the British Isles.
To remind, the rig was towed away last week from the grounding spot in Dalmore Bay, and was moved to Broad Bay, where it is currently located waiting to be moved away as a ‘dry cargo.’
Although no contracts have been signed yet, planning to load the Transocean Winner, onto a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel for the transport to Turkey has begun.
According to an update by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), operations to begin transport of the rig may start later this month, but a definite date has not yet been set.
Once a date has been confirmed, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention Hugh Shaw, together with others involved in the operation, will hold a public meeting to explain to the community how the operation will work.
Shaw said: “From the onset, our aim has been to keep the local community fully aware of our future plans and intentions. Given the level of interest, we will be more than happy to have the key players explain how the next part of the operation will be managed.”
While awaiting the move, the rig remains stable and secured to eight anchors in Broad Bay. Temporary exclusion zones (TEZ) in Dalmore Bay and Broad Bay remain in place.
MCA added that although the TEZ only covers the sea area off the Dalmore beach, members of the public should be aware that there may be some uncharted debris from the rig still lying on the seabed. Divers have already detected and recovered some debris but have been unable to complete their search due to the prevailing weather conditions.
To remind, the rig washed ashore the Dalmore beach, near Carloway on August 8. It had been under tow to Malta when strong winds caused the towline to snap, causing the rig to go aground. It was re-floated and on its way to Broad Bay on August 24.