Transport Select Committee agree to call rig hearing

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil.

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The UK Government’s Transport Select Committee will carry out an inquiry into the grounding of the oil-rig Transocean Winner which ran aground on rocks in Dalmore on the West Coast of Lewis.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil wrote to Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee following the grounding of the Transocean Winner to request that they call on Transocean to attend a Committee Hearing.

Mr MacNeil said: “I am delighted that Transport Select Committee have agreed to my request, Committee Chair, Louise Ellman MP has indicated interest in completing a one-off oral evidence session on the grounding of the Transocean Winner on Dalmore Beach.

“I had asked the committee if they would consider asking Transocean to a committee hearing as questions need to be answered such as what risk assessment was carried out prior to the moving of this rig and why given the severe weather warnings, was the rig west of the Hebrides and exposed to the full force on the Atlantic gale.”

The Transport Committee’s schedule is not yet confirmed and as such no further details can be provided on the timing of the inquiry. However, they will keep Mr MacNeil updated as more details come to light.

He added: “I also hope that the Transport Select Committee will focus on the MCA refusing to have another tug in Stornoway and I will be writing to them to ask that as part of this hearing, they examine the MCA, who seem to be playing ‘King Canute’ to the Transocean Winner being washed up on Dalmore Beach.

“The recent justification given by the MCA is absolutely spurious, citing evidence taken earlier this year, before the Transocean Winner went on the rocks. We are talking of a five-year timeline and we know full well that an incident such as the Transocean Winner is a one in twenty or fifty year event.

“The upshot is that I feel that the MCA are not doing what it says on the tin. They are not guarding our coasts, they are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best and this is just not good enough.”