A drilling rig has run aground after a severe storm severed its towline.
Transocean’s Winner was blown ashore in Dalmore near the village of Carloway after heavy winds and rain battered the region overnight and early this morning.
The 17,000 tonne rig lost its connection with a tug boat off the coast of the Isle of Lewis.
There was no one on board at the time of the incident and no risk to life, according to the Stornoway Coastguard.
A Transocean spokesperson said: “The incident took place early this morning. It lost its tow at about 4.20am and ran aground at about 6.50am.”
The rig was being towed from Norway to Malta when the incident unfolded.
A spokesperson said the company had yet to assess any damage to the rig, because it hasn’t been able to get anyone on site yet.
When asked how they would recover the rig, the spokesperson answered: “We have technical teams that are working on that, but have no timetable at the moment.”
A Coastguard spokesperson added: “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.”
The Transocean Winner has a fuel oil capacity of 21,495bbls and has enough accommodation for 108 people. It was built in 1983 and underwent significant upgrades in 2006.
The incident comes days after the firm posted an unexpected profit due to job cuts. Read more here.
A Coastguard spokesperson added: “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.
“The Maritime & 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.
“There is 280mt of diesel on board and this situation is being monitored.
“The drilling rig has now grounded on the west side of the Isle of Lewis near Carloway. SMIT Salvage has been mobilised to deal with the incident.”
Police Scotland and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams are also on scene.