Transocean Winner Rig Loses Tow, Blown Ashore After Severe Weather

The Transocean Winner (mid-water semisub) has grounded off the Western Isles of Scotland after losing its tow during severe weather.

“No rig personnel are at risk. Transocean is working closely with authorities to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” a Transocean spokesperson told Rigzone.

Pictures emerged Monday on social media site Twitter showing the rig towering above the rocky landscape it currently sits adjacent to.

Media reports indicate that the rig was being towed from Norway to Malta when it encountered high winds and waves. Coastguard personnel are believed to have blocked access to the beach closest to the incident site for health and safety reasons.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil has called on the UK Government to reinstate the Emergency Towing Vessel which was based in Stornoway, following a severe gale which saw a 17,000 tonne oil rig run aground on the Isle of Lewis.

“Thankfully we have been hearing today there have been no casualties involved as no personnel were on board the rig at the time,” said Scottish National Party member Angus MacNeil.

“However, this could have been a very different outcome, and it is another example of why we need to have an Emergency Towing Vessel on the west coast of Scotland. The UK Government must return the ETV to Stornoway - a tug is an insurance policy for an unusual, but possible event,” he added.

“I am also calling on the UK Government to carry out an immediate investigation as to why this oil rig was being towed in severe winds west of the Hebrides, and I'm seeking further details regarding the response time - which the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said took 18 hours,” MacNeil concluded.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at


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too old to care | Aug. 12, 2016
Its the new oilfield.

Consultant | Aug. 10, 2016
Saving money must be the only reason why the rig did not have a small crew on board to deal with an emergency such as this. Had there been a crew on board, anchors would have been lowered to stop the rig from going aground. How embarrassing for Transocean to get caught with its pants down trying to save money. Was no risk analysis undertaken to identify the risk of losing the tow wire? How can our industry ever hope to gain the confidence of the general public when an industry leader pulls a stunt like this? Shame on its management.

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