Future plans for the offshore oil rig Transocean Winner which ran aground on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis earlier this month are still uncertain as the rig sits at anchor in stable condition.
Back at the grounding site at Dalmore Bay, divers have located about 40 pieces of debris from the rig ranging in sizes from laptop-size to scaffolding poles weighing up to 200 lbs. Authorities are warning the public that as storms roll in, it’s possible that the some of the debris could be kicked up and moved to shallower water or wash up on the beach.
“The divers are working very hard to make sure that they are picking up all the bits found on site,” commented Colin Mulvana, Deputy Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime Salvage and Intervention. “But there may well be previously undetected debris that may appear following bad weather. A future programme 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.”
A Temporary Exclusion Zone remains in place in the area as the dive and debris-recovery operation continues.
“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,” Mulvana added.
Meanwhile, the Transocean Winner remains stable and secured to eight anchors in Broad Bay, located on the east side of Isle of Lewis. The rig arrived there safely August 24 following its refloating and a 54-mile transit under tow that was completed without incident. There have been no signs of pollution and monitoring continues, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in an update Tuesday.
The update said that further assessments of the rig, including underwater surveys by ROV and divers, continue to take place, however plans for the rig have not yet been determined.
“Good progress is being made but no decision has been finalized as to where the rig might be taken next,” the update said.
The Transocean Winner ran aground August 8 after breaking free from a tow in heavy weather. The 30-year-old rig had just completed a contract in the Norwegian North Sea and was enroute to Malta when the incident occurred. The rig’s final destination was likely a ship recycling yard in Turkey.