Dam­aged rig on its way to Malta

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

A 17,000-tonne oil rig with 280 tonnes of diesel on board. which ran aground on the Western Isles off Scot­land more than two months ago is en route to Malta on a heavy lift ship.

A 17,000-tonne oil rig which ran aground on the Western Isles off Scot­land more than two months ago is en route to Malta on a heavy lift ship.

The Transocean Win­ner rig ran aground at Dal­more on Lewis in a storm in early Au­gust while be­ing towed to Malta.

It was re­floated after three weeks and an­chored at Broad Bay on Lewis be­fore be­ing put on board the Hawk last week.

Pa­per­work prob­lems caused fur­ther de­lays but it was given per­mis­sion to set sail ear­lier and left on 13 Oc­to­ber.

The Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties had to pro­vide the doc­u­men­ta­tion that will al­low the drilling rig to even­tu­ally be taken to a yard in Turkey where it will be scrapped.

Hugh Shaw, the Sec­re­tary of State’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mar­itime and Sal­vage In­ter­ven­tion, said: “At 5pm to­day I ad­vised the Mas­ter of the Hawk that he had my per­mis­sion to weigh an­chor and pro­ceed on the voy­age in ac­cor­dance with the agreed pas­sage plan.

“The UK Coast­guard will con­tinue to mon­i­tor its pas­sage un­til it leaves the UK search and res­cue re­gion. Weather per­mit­ting, the voy­age to Malta will take ap­prox­i­mately two weeks.”

The rig’s ground­ing on 8 Au­gust sparked pol­lu­tion fears due to the 280 tonnes of diesel on board.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions found two of its four fuel tanks were dam­aged in the in­ci­dent which re­sulted in the loss of 53,000 litres of fuel, most of which is thought to have eva­po­rated with no dam­age to the en­vi­ron­ment.

Transocean, the owner of the rig, has do­nated £120,000 to Dal­more and Car­loway, the com­mu­ni­ties clos­est to where the struc­ture washed up in early Au­gust.

Last week, Transocean Win­ner was floated on to the deck of the Hawk, a semi-sub­mersible ship used for trans­port­ing large mar­itime struc­tures over long dis­tances.

This part of the sal­vage op­er­a­tion had re­quired calm weather and was done within a short­en­ing timescale.

The Hawk was only days away from leav­ing for an­other task and the rig’s owner, Transocean, was faced with ei­ther bring­ing in an­other heavy lift ves­sel or leav­ing Transocean Win­ner tem­po­rar­ily an­chored over win­ter, the BBC re­ported.

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