Local News for Wednesday 21st September 2016
Oil rig – the fleet gathers
A fleet of vessels have gathered in Broad Bay, as the semi-submersible heavy load carrier Hawk prepares to take the damaged oil rig Transocean Winner on board as cargo. Transocean has signed a contract with the Norwegian company Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT), operators of HAWK, which arrived yesterday evening in Broad Bay and which is to take the rig as dry cargo to a breaking yard in Aliaga, Turkey. There are now eight tugs and diving ships, plus the Hawk herself, all preparing for the complex manoeuvre of floating the rig from her current anchorage onto the deck of the carrier. Secretary of State’s representative Hugh Shaw said that the operation required good sea and wind conditions, including a 12 hour window of flat calm while the rig transfers. Eight anchors have secured the rig in Broad Bay in the three weeks since she was moved there from Dalmore, where she came aground in a storm in August. In Dalmore Bay itself there are still seven pieces of debris awaiting recovery, after poor weather hampered diving this week. Temporary Exclusion Zones remain in place in Dalmore Bay and Broad Bay, and Stornoway air traffic control has also issued a notice to alert pilots of the potential hazard in the Broad Bay area.