A 17,000-tonne oil rig that ran aground just off the coast of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland for over a week now is being assessed for damage, with a team of 15 salvage experts having boarded the rig to make preparations for an eventual refloat, although it's expected that this will take many weeks.
The Transocean Winner ran aground near Carolway and Dalmore Beach on August 8th, on its way from Norway to Malta when its towline snapped in bad weather, the Guardian reports. Now, the owners of the rig will meet with members of the local community for the first time, following criticism that they failed to go to a similar event on Monday in Carloway attended by 80 people.
However, the company won't be able to discuss why the rig was being towed so near the islands in such bad conditions because it has been blocked from doing so while the Marine Accident Investigation Branch looks into the matter.
The rig was carrying 280 tonnes of diesel and its thought that two of the four storage tanks were damaged when it hit rocks, but thus far there have been no signs of pollution or an oil slick, which is likely to be reassuring for the owners of the rig.
"Work is ongoing and we are making steady progress, this is due to the response from all involved. We fully appreciate the support that we have been getting from the local community and its leaders, as well as all those who live and work on the island," the government's representative for maritime salvage and intervention, Hugh Shaw, said.
Dave Walls, Operations Director for North-West Europe with Transocean, has this week (August 19th) said how sorry he is for the inconvenience that the grounded rig has caused to those living and working on the island. People have been asked not to visit the beach, an exclusion zone has been set up around the rig and local fishermen have been unable to catch their lobsters and crabs as they would normally as a result.
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