Storms Blow 17,000-Tonne Drilling Rig Ashore on Scottish Beach

By Gerald Lynch on at

What's the worst thing that's washed up while you've been sat bathing at a beach? Couple of dead jellyfish? Maybe a used condom? If you're lucky, a load of old LEGO blocks. You probably wouldn't be expecting to see a 17,000-tonne drilling rig run ashore, but that's what's happened up off Scotland's Western Isles.

Dalmore beach in the Carloway area has played host to the Transocean Winner, a giant floating diesel drilling rig, which should have been under tow west of Lewis. However, severe storms saw the rig detach from its accompanying tow and run ashore overnight.

Thankfully, no crew members were aboard, and no notable environmental damage has been caused, despite the 280 metric tonnes onboard the structure.

"Following the grounding of the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner on the Isle of Lewis, the Secretary of State's Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage and Intervention Hugh Shaw is now in discussions with the owners Transocean and the salvors," a spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard (MCA) Agency has revealed.

"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's counter pollution branch and the SOSREP have both been monitoring the situation since yesterday evening and the local authority, police and Marine Scotland have all been kept informed."

The structure had been on its way from Norway to Malta before taking its unexpected mini-break. A full investigation from the MCA will now follow. [BBC]