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Salvage team boards grounded oil rig to carry out inspection

A small team were winched on board the Transocean Winner rig on Tuesday.

Strabded: Close-up picture of the 17,000-tonne rig on Lewis. Leah Forster

A small salvage team has been winched aboard an oil rig which ran aground on the Isle of Lewis.

The 17,000-tonne Transocean Winner came loose from the tug Alp Forward in the early hours of Monday and crashed into the shore near Carloway.

The semi-submersible rig has around 300,000 litres of diesel aboard, but the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s counter-pollution team says the risk of a leak is low.

A team of salvors were winched aboard the rig by the coastguard on Tuesday afternoon.

Hugh Shaw, who is overseeing the operation as the secretary of state’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention, said: “This initial recce will be checking a number of things including fuel tanks.

“Weather permitting, it’s then intended to put a second larger group of salvors on tomorrow to carry out a more detailed inspection.”

A temporary exclusion zone has been set up 300m around the rig and three vessels remain on the scene.

No-one was on board the rig when it grounded near Carloway, the MCA said.

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