Grounding of semi-submersible drilling rig on Isle of Lewis

Overnight on Sunday, Stornoway Coastguard was in communication with the tug Alp Forward which encountered severe weather west of the Isle Of Lewis, Scotland during a towing operation.  The tug remained connected to the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner overnight but was unable to make headway with the tow.  The MCA’s Emergency Towing Vessel Herakles was deployed from Orkney on Sunday night to assist. 

At 4.20am on Monday, the master of Alp Forward reported that the tow line had parted and due to the severe weather conditions was unable to reconnect the tow line and the rig is at risk of grounding on the west side of the Isle Of Lewis near Carloway. The tug Alp Forward remains on scene to visually monitor the rig.

There are no personnel on board the rig and there is no risk to life. 


Transocean and ALP Marine have established their emergency response rooms, SMIT salvage has been mobilised to deal with the incident.  The MCA’s counter pollution branch and Secretary Of State’s Representative for Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) are monitoring the situation. Local authority and Marine Scotland have been notified.

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