Work has begun to raise four of the primary anchors of the Transocean Winner rig in anticipation of moving it onto the Hawk transport ship.
The Transocean Winner rig become stranded of the Isle of Lewis in bad weather almost two months ago.
Bad weather has hampered recent attempts to start the rig’s journey for decommissioning.
The initial work is expected to take about 12 hours.
The four secondary anchors will also be removed in a 12 hour operation, leaving the rig attached to the tugs.
The Hawk will be submerged in order to receive the rig.
A temporary exclusion zone of 1000m will be put in place during the ballasting process on the Hawk until such time as the rig is secured.
The rig will then be towed across to the Hawk using guide points before deballasting, allowing the vessel to come up slpwly under the Trancoean Winner.
It’s intended this work will take place in daylight tomorrow to monitor any potential pollution but could continue on Saturday morning if necessary.
Pollution counter measures are in place and an MCA surveillance aircraft will overfly the area during this operation.
Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative For Maritime Salvage and Intervention said: “Our intention all the way along has been to get this operation under way without endangering life or the environment around.
“All the preparation work has been done in anticipation of this moment so that we could be ready when the time comes as it now has.”