The oilrig Transocean Winner has arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on the deck of the heavy load transporter Hawk. The ship came to anchor there around 5pm GMT yesterday evening after a 17 day journey from the Isle of Lewis. At the moment of typing, preparations are being made to offload the rig from the Hawk and take it for demolition.
The oilrig was being towed from Norway to Turkey on the night of 7th / 8th August when a well-forecast gale caused it to be separated from its tug. The TW was then blown ashore off the beach at Dalmore in Lewis. It became an unwanted addition to the landscape, with risk of pollution (minimal in the end); caused inconvenience to the villagers, visitors to the cemetery (which serves the district) and visitors to the beach.
On the evening of August 22nd, several powerful tugs managed to pull it off the rocks. It took them nearly two days to cover the 54 mile journey to Broad Bay, on the other side of the island. As the tanks in the base of the platform had been breached, a constant flow of compressed air was required to keep it afloat.
A heavy lift vessel, the Hawk, was chartered to load it and transport it to Malta and finally Turkey. This arrived in late September, but it was not until October 10th that the rig was finally loaded, and not until October 14th that clearance was given for it to be moved.
After passing through the Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay and Straits of Gibraltar, the Hawk arrived at Malta for a brief stopover. Last night, the ship reached its destination.
Transocean Winner - good riddance.