Transocean Working to Recover Stranded Rig

Transocean is working closely with authorities to recover its grounded rig as “expeditiously and safely as possible,” says Transocean’s operations director for Northwest Europe, Dave Walls.

The Transocean Winner (mid-water semisub)  grounded off the Western Isles of Scotland after losing its tow during severe weather. No rig personnel were injured during the incident, a Transocean spokesperson told Rigzone Aug. 8.

Media reports indicated 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.

“Transocean is committed to the island’s community – many of us call Scotland home. We have been in business in Scotland since the early 1960s and intend to be here for years to come. We are fully prepared to meet our responsibilities arising from this incident and appreciate the ongoing and collaborative efforts to recover the rig,” said Walls in a statement sent to Rigzone.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil called on the UK Government to reinstate the Emergency Towing Vessel which was based in Stornoway, following the grounding of the 17,000 ton oil rig on the Isle of Lewis.

“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,” said Scottish National Party member Angus MacNeil.

“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.

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