Highlands & Islands

Rough seas hamper efforts to load Transocean rig on to ship

Hawk Transport ship with Transocean rig in background
Image caption The rig is due to be moved on to the Hawk transport ship

Rough seas are hampering the final preparations for loading the oil drilling rig Transocean Winner on to a ship off Lewis.

The rig, which ran aground at Dalmore in August, is being moved on to the heavy transport ship the Hawk.

The 17,000-tonne structure has been disconnected from eight temporary anchors in preparation for its journey to Turkey for scrapping.

Good weather is crucial to this element of the salvage operation going ahead.

BBC Scotland's reporter in Lewis, Angus Macdonald, said on Friday evening that the size of the swell was making efforts to get the rig on to the deck of the Hawk difficult.

He said a decision would be made on Saturday as to whether the rig would go "in this weather window, or stay until the next break in the weather".

Hugh Shaw, who is overseeing the salvage work, said: "If we do find ourselves in the same position tomorrow then we are going to have to make a decision.

"It may be to put the rig back on to the anchors because we are anticipating bad weather coming back through at the beginning of next week and we would have to have the rig secure again by that time."

Over the past month the Transocean Winner has been removed from Dalmore beach and towed to Broad Bay, Lewis.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites