Target: Secretary of State for the Environment Leadsom
Goal: Investigate why the Transocean Winner oil rig was being towed in stormy conditions.
Over 50,000 liters of oil leaked into the ocean after an uncrewed mobile rig washed ashore in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. The rig, named the Transocean Winner, detached from a tugboat that was towing it in stormy weather–weather which prevented the tugboat from reasserting control.
When it ran aground, the Transocean Winner contained over 300,000 liters of oil. Since then, over 50,000 liters of oil and diesel have leaked from two breached tanks, quickly dispersing into the ocean. Luckily, most of what leaked was diesel, which is known to disperse more quickly than crude oil.
This disaster could have been avoided. Firstly, the stormy weather was not unexpected, which raises questions as to why the rig was being moved in such weather. Furthermore, had there been crew aboard the rig, they may have been able to prevent it running aground. Sign our petition and demand regulation preventing the movement of oil rigs in stormy weather, greater safeguards against rigs running aground, and an investigation into why and how the Transocean Winner ran aground.
Dear Secretary Leadsom,
I was alarmed to hear that the mobile rig, the Transocean Winner, ran aground, spilling thousands of litres of diesel into the sea. While this diesel will disperse relatively quickly, and there does not seem to be any permanent environmental damage, it was only luck that kept this from being a complete disaster.
The cause of the grounding of the Transocean Winner was that it was moved without crew during stormy weather. This weather was not unexpected, raising serious questions about due diligence and responsible operations at DNV GL, the firm ultimately responsible for the rig. Transporting mobile rigs in such weather should not be legal, especially without crews aboard to prevent the rigs from running aground. I urge you to investigate this incident and to enact regulations to ensure it does not happen again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jay Phagan