Weather permitting, specialists from Dutch firm Smit Salvage also planned to conduct a stability analysis to make sure Transocean Winner is sufficiently buoyant for eventual refloating.
The AugustaWestland AW139 helicopter now based in Stornoway in support of the operation yesterday completed three trips to transfer additional equipment to the team on the 17,000 ton rig from Smit and rig owner Transocean. This included compressors which will be used to provide buoyancy for the refloat.
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) estimates more than 200 people have responded to the incident thus far. The Transocean Winner broke free from its tug towline in stormy seas enroute to Malta for scrapping in the early hours of August 8.
“Work is ongoing and we are making steady progress,” said Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention.
“This is due to the response from all involved. We fully appreciate the support that we have been getting from the local community and its leaders, as well as all those who live and work on the island.”
An exercise to test procedures in the event of any oil spill is planned early Friday (UK time).
“It’s a proactive test to look at how quickly equipment could be deployed from Carloway to various locations. This exercise is weather and operationally dependent,” the MCA said.