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.'