Local News for Monday 22nd August 2016

First try at rig refloat tonight
The grounded oil rig Transocean Winner could be towed off Dalmore beach on the rising tide late this evening, if everything goes to plan. Rig owners and salvors said an operation to remove diesel and other contaminants over the weekend had gone well, with 200 tonnes of diesel oil, plus small amounts of base oil and brine, transferred from the rig onto the supply vessel Olympic Orion. No pollution has been reported or observed. Salvors hope to establish buoyancy in time for high tide at around 10.30 tonight. Using two tugs, they’ll pull the rig free, hoping that sharp rocks don’t pierce any of the tanks. If the operation proves successful, the rig will be towed round to Broad Bay, where it will stay until it is stable and fit to be towed or transported to a suitable repair facility. Should tonight’s attempt not be successful, there are two further high tides on Tuesday morning and evening when they could make further attempts. Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention said: 'Good progress is being made in this operation. The plans for the refloat are in place, although this is dependent on the Salvage team being able to recover enough buoyancy to enable the rig to refloat safely.'

Read more: Local News for Monday 22nd August 2016

Local News for Thursday 18th August 2016

Full report to come from rig owners and salvors
Tonight’s meeting at Carloway Community Centre will give local residents the first chance to hear what is planned for the salvage of the grounded rig Transocean Winner, as owners, salvors and other agencies open the floor to questions. The Secretary of State’s representative Hugh Shaw said yesterday that they were continuing to look at options to refloat the rig, and to transfer fuel from below-the-water tanks. A dedicated helicopter is now stationed at Stornoway and made three trips yesterday to carry salvage equipment and living supplies. So far, it is estimated that over 200 people are responding to the incident from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Transocean, Smit Salvage and Briggs Environmental. Hugh Shaw said: “We are making steady progress, due to the response from all involved. We fully appreciate the support that we have been getting from the local community and its leaders, as well as all those who live and work on the island.”

Read more: Local News for Thursday 18th August 2016

Local News for Wednesday 17th August 2016

Air exclusion round grounded rig
A new exclusion area covering the air around the grounded oil rig at Dalmore beach has been put in force – any aircraft or drone not involved in the operation that breaches that zone will be prosecuted. Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage & Intervention said: ‘The exclusion zone has been put in place for the safety of the operational aircraft working at the scene and also for the teams carrying out their surveys and assessments. Our priority there is to make sure the operation is not compromised.’

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 17th August 2016

Local News for Tuesday 16th August 2016

Oil rig – open meeting again on Thursday
The Secretary of State’s Representative Hugh Shaw and Transocean have announced a public information meeting about the grounded oil rig, Transocean Winner, which now has salvage workers aboard at its location on Dalmore beach. The new meeting’s to be held at 8pm on Thursday 18th August at Carloway Community Centre, where the salvage plan will be explained and questions answered. Representatives of all the agencies involved in the current stabilisation and salvage of the grounded rig will be there. On Monday night MSP Alasdair Allan, Police Inspector Roddie MacKay and local councillor Cudig MacLeod took questions from about 90 people who attended a meeting called by the local community association. Dr Allan said the meeting showed strength of feeling on the part of Carloway residents and gave a useful opportunity to discuss the impact of the oil rig grounding to the community.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 16th August 2016

Local News for Monday 15th August 2016

Salvors aboard grounded rig
A team of eight salvage workers yesterday went aboard the Transocean Winner – the oil rig grounded on rocks at Dalmore – and were expected to stay aboard and make the rig habitable for a work crew to stay overnight.  The team went aboard using ropes and climbing equipment, after landing by helicopter winch proved impossible in the weather conditions. Owners Transocean and salvors Smit will now carry out a full assessment of the rig and will look at how diesel oil stored in tanks could be transferred to a safe location in other unbreached tanks above the waterline, before refloating the rig starts. An extra helicopter was brought to the site yesterday afternoon to help with the work.

Read more: Local News for Monday 15th August 2016