AUGUST 14, 2016 — The U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency reports that a team of eight salvors from Transocean and Smit was this morning making its way on board the drilling rig Transocean Winner.
The semisubmersible grounded on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Western Isles after it became detached from the tug Alp Forward (see earlier story).
The salvors will becarrying out a full assessment of the rig and intend to work to make it habitable so that they can remain on it overnight.
Work is being done to help provide a supply line for the team so they can get equipment and supplies on board.
Rope access technicians have created a safe alternative access after prevailing weather conditions made it too difficult to winch the team down to the installation.
The team will look at the diesel oil tanks looking at how they might start procedures to transfer any fuel to other unbreached tanks within the rig so that it will be in a safe location well above the waterline, before any refloating operation starts.
Work is also underway in close proximity to the Transocean Winner to carry out a multi-beam survey looking to identify the safest route to move the rig when the time comes. An additional aircraft will to brought in later today to help with the work.
An exclusion zone of 300 meters remains in place around the rig covering the sea and the air, which means no drones will be permitted in the area, providing a safe working area for the salvage team to work in.
Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's representative for maritime salvage and intervention, said: "Once the assessment is under way, we'll have a much better idea of what we are dealing with, which will mean a more detailed salvage plan can be drawn up and put into place. We've made a commitment to keeping people informed locally and we intend to keep to that – once I'm happy that the plan is ready, we will be sharing it with community leaders and the community as a whole."