Plans to salvage grounded oil rig set to be announced

Further details of the salvage plan surrounding the oil rig which grounded on the Western Isles are expected to be revealed at a public meeting.

Details of the salvage plan surrounding the ground Transocean oil rig are expected to be revealed at a public meeting. Picture: PA

The Transocean Winner rig was blown ashore in severe weather conditions on the western side of the Isle of Lewis last week when it detached from its tug en route from Norway to Malta.

A 300-metre sea and air exclusion zone is in place around the semi-submersible which grounded at Dalmore beach near Carloway.

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The rig’s owner and Hugh Shaw, the official overseeing the salvage operation, are set to meet members of the local community on Thursday evening.

The latest details about the salvage plan are expected to be aired at the gathering at Carloway Community Centre, where locals will also get a chance to ask questions about the operation.

The Transocean Winner, which is expected to remain at Dalmore for some time, was carrying 280 tonnes of diesel - more than 300,000 litres - when it ran aground and salvage teams have since discovered that two of its four fuel tanks have been breached.

The rig is believed to have leaked 50,000 litres of fuel, most of which is thought to have evaporated since the grounding on August 8.

Teams plan to transfer the remaining 137 metric tonnes of diesel fuel - a light and non-persistent oil with lower environmental risks than heavy black crude oil - in the intact tanks to tanks above the waterline.

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch investigation has been launched into the loss of tow and the grounding.