Local News for Wednesday 12th October 2016

Farewell to Transocean Winner
Final inspections were completed yesterday to allow the heavy load carrier Hawk to leave Broad Bay today, carrying away the oil rig Transocean Winner after nine weeks intensive activity since she went aground at Dalmore. The voyage from Lewis to Malta is expected to take just over nine days, with a final leg to Turkey after repairs on the rig have been completed. The rig’s owners, Transocean, have taken advantage of excellent weather to carry out minor engineering and repair works on damaged tanks here in Lewis.  Today’s move comes after surveyors have inspected and signed off all the works and Turkish authorities issue confirmation that they will accept the Hawk and rig in the Port of Aliaga. Final approval is then given by the UK government’s representative Hugh Shaw.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 12th October 2016

Local News for Tuesday 11th October 2016

Joint Warrior begins
The major international military exercise Joint Warrior has begun in Scotland, and activity will be seen by land, sea and in the sky around the Western Isles. Exercise Joint Warrior is a multinational NATO exercise conducted in the UK during the spring and the autumn of each year. This month’s exercise will involve more than 31 warships and submarines, 60 aircraft, and a total of around 6,500 personnel from the 14 participating nations. For the first time so-called ‘robot wars’ will be tested, with unmanned aircraft and sea vessels being deployed on an experimental basis, including around Benbecula, where exercises will test the response of manned versus unmanned craft. The operation began on Saturday and runs until October 20th.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 11th October 2016

Local News for Monday 10th October 2016

The last leg for oil rig
Transocean Winner is likely to leave Hebridean waters on Wednesday, carried away as cargo on the deck of the heavy load carrier Hawk following a massive operation to recover the stricken oil rig since she went aground at Dalmore in August. Welding work to secure the rig on the Hawk’s cargo deck is continuing, after the ship lifted her clear of the water late last week. Late on Thursday environmental experts spotted some leakage of oil in the water – believed to have been a maximum of 50 litres of hydraulic or gear oil. It’s thought to have come from a damaged part of the rig and appropriate counter-pollution measures were taken. There has been no further sighting of oil, but counter-pollution vessels remain on scene. Hugh Shaw, Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime and Salvage Intervention, said: ‘I’m delighted that after so much work and effort that the operation to load the Transocean Winner has been successful. We’re so grateful to the community in the area for being so supportive, from the time the rig first grounded in August, right through this long process.’

Read more: Local News for Monday 10th October 2016

Local News for Friday 7th October 2016

Perfect conditions help rig move
The oil rig Transocean Winner was successfully loaded onto the heavy load carrier due to carry her away from the Isle of Lewis yesterday.Perfect weather conditions helped salvage workers from Smit salvage and oil rig owners Transocean with the transfer of the damaged oil rig Transocean Winner onto the deck of the heavy load carrier Hawk, and the ship de ballasted overnight, raising the rig from the water. A fascinating operation was watched by many from vantage points around the shoreline of Broad Bay, as the rig inched towards and over the Hawk, with a flotilla of anti-pollution craft, tugs and other support boats busy in the water around her. Welding work to secure her to the deck will now start, before she finally departs Broad Bay on the journey south to the breakers.

Read more: Local News for Friday 7th October 2016

Local News to Thursday 6th October 2016

Rig inches closer to end of story
The damaged oil rig Transocean Winner is slowly moving towards the heavy load carrier Hawk in Broad Bay today, as the salvage team makes a fresh attempt to get her loaded up and ready for removal from Hebridean waters. As winter approaches, options for removal are reducing, and the salvage team know that a last resort of securing the rig in Broad Bay all winter long is on the cards. With that in mind, the operation to lift anchors began early yesterday, when Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime and Salvage intervention Hugh Shaw gave the go-ahead. The forecast is showing light to moderate south-east winds during today, and the team is hoping good conditions will stay long enough this time to manage the complex mounting operation which will float the rig aboard the load carrier.

Read more: Local News to Thursday 6th October 2016