Refloated oil rig moving to Stornoway ahead of trip to Turkey

The OHT Hawk will take the Transocean Winner a few miles south later this month.

OHT Hawk: Huge semi-submersible carrying another oil rig (file pic). <strong>OHT</strong>
OHT Hawk: Huge semi-submersible carrying another oil rig (file pic). OHT

An oil rig that ran aground in the Western Isles will be taken to Stornoway before being shipped to Turkey on the back of a huge ship.

The Transocean Winner grounded after breaking free from the boat towing it during a storm on August 8.

The rig was pulled off the rocks two weeks later and taken to Broad Bay, where pressurised air is being pumped into the damaged vessel to stop it sinking.

Later this month, it will be carried a few miles south to Stornoway by the OHT Hawk, a 60,000-tonne vessel designed to ferry huge loads across the globe.

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The rig will then be welded to the deck of the OHT Hawk and taken to be decommissioned in Turkey.

Salvage expert Hugh Shaw, who is in charge of the recovery operation, said a meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday night in Stornoway would “inform the local community of the sequence of events and likely timescale”.

He 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.”

Transocean Winner: Oil rig during grounding on Lewis. Murdo Maclean
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The rig was on its way from Norway when it broke free from the tugboat Alp Forward and crashed into the shore at Dalmore Bay, near Carloway.

Two of its four fuel tanks ruptured in the collision and spilled about 53,000 litres of diesel into the sea. Most of the pollution is believed to have dispersed harmlessly.

Underwater robots will be used to cut off two thrusters protruding below the rig’s legs before the semi-submersible OHT Hawk is manoeuvred below the Transocean Winner.

One of the thrusters was seriously damaged in the grounding and parts of it are lying in Dalmore Bay.

The OHT Hawk will then rise back to the surface, lifting the rig on to its deck.


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