VIDEO: Rig grounds on Isle of Lewis

August 8, 2016

A semisubmersible drilling rig has grounded on the Isle of Lewis, off the far west of Scotland, according to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The rig, Transocean's Transocean Winner, was being towed at the time, but the tug, Alp Forward struggled to make headway amidst high winds Sunday night.

The UK's Met Office had earlier put in place a yellow "be aware" weather warning, covering most of the UK for Sunday, with up to 70mph gusts expected in some areas, with winds expected to increase. Some ferry crossings to Scottish islands were cancelled.

The MCA has warned people to stay away from the site, to enable specialist equipment to get through as well as over concerns about the rough coastline. 

The problem with the Transocean Winner, a GVA 4000-design rig built in 1983 in Gothenburg, and upgraded in 2006, was first raised Sunday night, when the tug Alp Forward was in contact with Stornoway Coastguard, says the MCA.

Alp Forward had hit severe weather west of the Isle Of Lewis while towing the Transocean Winner, which recently came off contract with Marathon Oil in the Norwegian North Sea, on a US$498,000 day rate, according to Transocean's fleet status report. The unit was last berthed just outside Stavanger. Alp Forward's destination was due to be Malta.  

The tug remained connected to the semisubmersible overnight, but was unable to make headway. The MCA’s emergency towing vessel Herakles was deployed from Orkney to assist, but at 4.20am Monday morning, the master of Alp Forward said the tow line to the Transocean Winner had parted. 

Due to the severe weather conditions, they were unable to reconnect the tow line and the rig later grounded on west side of the Isle Of Lewis, near Carloway. The tug Alp Forward remains on scene to visually monitor the rig, says the MCA.

There are no personnel on board the rig and there is no risk to life, the agency says. Transocean and ALP Marine have established emergency response rooms and SMIT salvage has been mobilized to deal with the incident.  

This afternoon the MCA warned people to stay away from the area when the rig has grounded, with MCA officers and police on site to keep people away, to enable specialist equipment to access the site, the MCA says. The MCA was also concerned about people's safety, so close to cliff tops in the area.

The Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage and Intervention Hugh Shaw is on his way to the site along with the salvors as part of the ongoing operation to recover the rig. Local authority and Marine Scotland have also been notified.

There is 280-tonne of diesel on board and the situation is being monitored but it’s believed the pollution risk is low, says the MCA.

VIDEO

Images: Top: The Transocean Winner on a happier day. 

Middle: The Alp Forward's last tracked position, off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. Image from Vesselfinder.com. 



Current News

Offshore Wind Vessels Get 'Vessel of National Interest' Designation by U.S. MARAD

Offshore Wind Vessels Get 'Vessel of National Interest' Designation by U.S. MARAD

Black Sea Gas Platform Launched Offshore Romania Despite War Risks

Black Sea Gas Platform Launched Offshore Romania Despite War Risks

Express Engineering in 5-year MWD, LWD Supply Deal

Express Engineering in 5-year MWD, LWD Supply Deal

SBM Offshore's Treasurer and IR Head Joins Jadestone Energy as New CFO

SBM Offshore's Treasurer and IR Head Joins Jadestone Energy as New CFO

Subscribe for OE Digital E‑News

Offshore Engineer Magazine