Transocean Winner: preparing to load rig

Previous attempts to load the rig have failed.

Previous attempts to load the rig have failed.

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Approval has been given by the Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime and Salvage Intervention for Transocean to start preparing for a further attempt to load the rig onto the semi-submersible heavy lift vessel HAWK.

The weather over the next few days looks favourable and Hugh Shaw, SOSREP says it’s an excellent opportunity to recommence the operation.

Work to disconnect the anchors commenced this morning (Wednesday) and by first light tomorrow (Thursday) the rig should be in position to move towards the HAWK.

If this current operation is unsuccessful, another heavy lift vessel will have to be brought in, as the Hawk is due to come off contract on Monday (10th October).

A second HLV has been identified but the work to move the rig would have to be suspended pending its arrival at the Isle of Lewis in mid-late October.

Hugh Shaw said: “Potential weather windows for the operation are beginning to reduce very rapidly now. Although we are considering alternative loading locations, the success of any loading wherever it takes place is diminishing with the approach of winter.

“With this in mind, I have asked Transocean to look at other contingencies including a plan for maintaining the rig in Broad Bay over the winter if it becomes necessary. We know that the rig can be safely secured there if needed.

“At the moment though I remain hopeful that this weather window will be sufficient for the operation to take place.”