Local News for Friday 7th October 2016

Perfect conditions help rig move
The oil rig Transocean Winner was successfully loaded onto the heavy load carrier due to carry her away from the Isle of Lewis yesterday.Perfect weather conditions helped salvage workers from Smit salvage and oil rig owners Transocean with the transfer of the damaged oil rig Transocean Winner onto the deck of the heavy load carrier Hawk, and the ship de ballasted overnight, raising the rig from the water. A fascinating operation was watched by many from vantage points around the shoreline of Broad Bay, as the rig inched towards and over the Hawk, with a flotilla of anti-pollution craft, tugs and other support boats busy in the water around her. Welding work to secure her to the deck will now start, before she finally departs Broad Bay on the journey south to the breakers.

Read more: Local News for Friday 7th October 2016

Local News to Thursday 6th October 2016

Rig inches closer to end of story
The damaged oil rig Transocean Winner is slowly moving towards the heavy load carrier Hawk in Broad Bay today, as the salvage team makes a fresh attempt to get her loaded up and ready for removal from Hebridean waters. As winter approaches, options for removal are reducing, and the salvage team know that a last resort of securing the rig in Broad Bay all winter long is on the cards. With that in mind, the operation to lift anchors began early yesterday, when Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime and Salvage intervention Hugh Shaw gave the go-ahead. The forecast is showing light to moderate south-east winds during today, and the team is hoping good conditions will stay long enough this time to manage the complex mounting operation which will float the rig aboard the load carrier.

Read more: Local News to Thursday 6th October 2016

Local News for Wednesday 5th October 2016

Pendleton friends caught up in US gun horror
Long-standing friends from Stornoway’s twin town of Pendleton have been caught up in a recent gun tragedy at a primary school in Townville, South Carolina. Jillian Hollingsworth, who has been a long-time supporter of Pendleton’s twinning with Stornoway, has visited the islands on a number of occasions, as have her three children. This week she gave evidence to a US Senate enquiry on gun law after her sister-in-law, teacher Meghan Hollingsworth, was injured – along with two six-year-old pupils – in the shooting by a 14-year-old boy at Townville Elementary School last week. One of the young children died three days later, from his injuries. Jillian told senators that the lives of her family have forever been changed. She said: “When, or if, (Meghan) returns to her public school classroom in South Carolina, one of her students will not be at his desk. Six-year-old Jacob Hall lost his life as a result of this senseless act.”

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 5th October 2016

Local News for Tuesday 4th October 2016

Islanders rally to offer beds
Islanders have responded to calls for extra bed spaces during Mòd week with offers of spare rooms, empty houses and flats. The Tourist Information Centre in Stornoway is keeping a register of rooms available from non-commercial sources, as well as their usual directory of accommodation for visitors. A spokesman for the Stornoway tourist office said: “We anticipate enquiries to go up as we get nearer to the Mòd itself, and have had offers from non-providers of houses and spare rooms. If people are looking for accommodation they should come to the TIC on Cromwell Street, and if you have a house which will be empty during Mòd week, or a spare room you can offer to visitors, particularly in Stornoway, we would be happy to add your details to the list”. You can get in touch with the TIC on 01851 703088.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 4th October 2016

Local News for Monday 3rd October 2016

Beds clash looms as rig stays put
With just 10 days to go until the Royal National Mòd comes to the Western Isles, the team gathered to shift the oil rig anchored in Broad Bay may find themselves short of places to sleep. Up to 250 salvage, recovery, pollution control and support personnel have created an accommodation boom for Lewis since the Transocean Winner went aground at Dalmore in August. But from next week pre-booked choirs, school groups, media and Mòd supporters will arrive to take up their hotel and guest house bookings, leaving a potential bed shortage for workers involved in the rig recovery. All 86 rooms at the Caladh Hotel are fully booked from October 16th, while from the 12th BBC crews arrive at the Caberfeidh, where they occupy many of the 46 available rooms. A spokesman for the Tourism Office in Stornoway said the rig teams had filled many rooms over recent weeks, but could face a problem if the rig has not moved by the time the Mòd starts.

Read more: Local News for Monday 3rd October 2016