Drilling rig update

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Plans are being finalised today (Monday) to attempt a refloat the Transocean Winner drilling rig which is currently grounded in Dalmore Bay.

Salvage team Smit has agreed the towage plan with Hugh Shaw, Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention.

The 300m exclusion zone remains in place. There will be a 1000m exclusion zone around the Transocean Winner for the duration of the passage from Dalmore Bay to Broad Bay, on the east coast of Lewis.

A verification aircraft will be sent to monitor for any potential pollution. A survey yesterday picked up a sheen which turned out to be 200ml and was quickly broken up using boats by Briggs Environmental.

Hugh Shaw, Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, said: “We have commenced the final phase of this part of the operation. The two tugs which will be towing are already connected and standing by off Dalmore Beach. The refloat is scheduled to take place later tonight.

“We’re aware of how much interest there has been in this rig and completely understand that. And we know that people will want to watch it. All we ask is that everyone follows the guidance that is being put out by the Western Isles Emergency Planning Co-ordinating Group so that they can watch it safely.”