SNP Calls for more Emergency Towing Vessels Following Transocean Incident

The Scottish National Party has labelled the UK government’s decision to leave Scotland with one emergency towing vessel as “dangerous”, following the grounding of the Transocean Winner (mid-water semisub) rig off the Western Isles of Scotland in August.

“Cutting back to only one emergency tug patrolling Scotland is a dangerous move as the vessel could be off the coast of Arran when it is needed in Shetland,” SNP MSP [member of Scottish parliament] for the Western Isles, Alasdair Allan, said in a statement sent to Rigzone.

“The Tories must reverse these cuts and bring back a second towing vessel before we see another incident like the grounding of the Transocean rig earlier this year,” he added.

“That incident should be a wake-up call for industry. Towing rigs to places such as the Mediterranean for decommissioning is less safe, more harmful to the environment and more inefficient than decommissioning in Scottish ports. We must make efforts to decommission these rigs in Scotland – creating jobs and economic growth, whilst allowing the industry to pay back in to Scottish communities,” Allan continued.

Transocean Winner lost its tow in severe weather at the beginning of August, with pictures emerging Aug. 8, on social media site Twitter, showing the rig towering above a rocky landscape it sat adjacent to.

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. No rig personnel were at risk as a result of the incident, a Transocean spokesperson told Rigzone at the time.

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


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