Local News for Friday 8th September 2017
Transocean Winner report
The Marine Accident Investigation Bureau has released their report into the grounding of the oil drilling platform Transocean Winner on Dalmore in Lewis last summer. They conclude that poor weather information, a worn tow line and inadequate assessment of the conditions by the master of the towing vessel all contributed to the incident. MAIB said that the tug ALP Forward was incapable of controlling the tow in the high winds and seas experienced. Voyage planning did not consider the effect of high winds on Transocean Winner and the master’s attempts to maintain control of the tow placed strain on a tow line which was already in poor condition. After the tug lost the tow, the Stornoway-based UK Coastguard investigated alternative tugs and called the emergency towing vessel Herakles, then at Kirkwall in Orkney some 12 hours from Lewis. It was unable to arrive at the accident site before Transocean Winner grounded, but MAIB said that it was very unlikely that it would, in any case, have been able to provide any practical assistance. MAIB said: “The effect of the wind on Transocean Winner led to ALP Forward being incapable of controlling the wind and tow in the severe weather conditions. The planning of a passage so close to the coast left little sea room for the tug and tow to drift. When ALP Forward lost control of the tug and tow, it was very likely that Transocean Winner would have grounded even if the tow line had not parted. The tow line was in a generally poor condition, (but) it is quite possible that a new tow line would have also parted under the same circumstances and conditions”.