Overnight on Sunday 7th August 2016, the tug Alp Forward encountered difficulties whilst towing the semi-submersible drilling rig, the Transocean Winner, off the west coast of Lewis. Due to extreme weather conditions the Alp Forward was unable to maintain the tow line and the Transocean Winner was grounded on the west of Lewis at Dalmore Beach. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed that there were no personnel on board the rig and there was no risk to life.
When an incident occurs in UK waters arising from shipping or offshore oil and gas operations, the UK National Contingency Plan (NCP) is implemented. Part of this plan may involve the setup of the Environment Group if there is deemed to be a risk to the environment. For incidents in Scottish waters, this group is chaired by Marine Scotland and includes representatives from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), MCA, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and others as required. This group provides advice to the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) who manages the overall incident.
Throughout the Transocean Winner incident, the Environment Group has been collecting and analysing data and samples, modelling potential outcomes and providing advice for a range of operations related to the recovery, refloating and transport of the grounded rig. Much of the work collected in this effort has been collated into an Incident Support Information report that is updated and shared with the wider organisations who may also be required to provide advice. This report has been published below. It will be updated as significant changes are implemented.
The MCA has also been maintaining a blog, which highlights the major developments and operations related to the Transocean Winner.
Please note that the document below is a working document and it will be updated as more information is made available.