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Government to Hold Inquiry into Grounding of Oil Rig

Government to Hold Inquiry into Grounding of Oil Rig

The Transocean Winner rig hit rocks in the Western Isles of Scotland earlier this year, after it broke loose from its tug boat en route from Norway to Malta.

Now a powerful government committee is to hold an inquiry into the grounding, with bosses of the firm possibly being dragged before the Transport Select Committee, after it agreed to look into the incident.

Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil, wrote to the chairperson of the Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman, following the grounding of the rig, requesting that they call on Transocean to explain themselves.

Mr MacNeil said: “I am delighted that Transport Select Committee have agreed to my request, committee chairperson, Louise Ellman has indicated interest in completing a one-off oral evidence session on the grounding of the Transocean Winner on Dalmore Beach.

“I had asked the committee if they would consider asking Transocean to a committee hearing as questions need to be answered such as what risk assessment was carried out prior to the moving of this rig and why given the severe weather warnings, was the rig west of the Hebrides and exposed to the full force on the Atlantic gale.”

He added: “I also hope that the Transport Select Committee will focus on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) refusing to have another tug in Stornoway and I will be writing to them to ask that as part of this hearing, they examine the MCA, who seem to be playing ‘King Canute’ to the Transocean Winner being washed up on Dalmore Beach.”

The government recently decided not to hold a risk assessment into the need for a second emergency tug to serve the west coast of Scotland, with UK Transport Minister John Hayes revealing the news last night.

The SNP minister said, “The UK Government’s refusal to conduct a risk assessment is disappointing and frustrating.

“West coast communities have long argued for the return of a dedicated Emergency Towing Vessel to their waters.

“The Transocean Winner incident has served as a powerful reminder that we must plan for the unexpected.”

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