Mind your head! Massive oil drilling platform passes under Forth bridges after being dropped off by world’s largest construction vessel

  • The 382 metre long Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit transferred its huge cargo of a topside drilling platform onto a cargo barge called the Iron Lady
  • The cargo barge was then towed clear of the Pioneering Spirit and passed under the Forth bridges with the drilling rig on its deck
  • The barge was towed by the Forth Ports’ tugs, the Craigleith, Inchkeith and Fidra, to the Port of Rosyth in Fife

A large oil drilling platform has passed under the Forth bridges in the Firth of Forth after being offloaded by the world’s largest construction vessel.

The 382 metre long Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit transferred its huge cargo of a topside drilling platform onto a 200-metre long cargo barge called the Iron Lady.

The second part of the two-day operation saw the cargo barge being towed clear of the Pioneering Spirit and passing under the Forth bridges with the drilling rig – which is being decommissioned – on its deck. 

The Forth Ports’ tugs, the Craigleith, Inchkeith and Fidra towed the Iron Lady under the Forth Bridge, then the Forth Road Bridge and finally under the Queensferry Crossing before berthing alongside at the Port of Rosyth in Fife, Scotland.       

Stuart Wallace, Forth Ports chief operating offer, said: ‘Watching the Iron Lady towed safely into the Port of Rosyth by our tugs against the backdrop of all three Forth crossings was a bit special too’. Pictured: The Iron Lady carrying the oil drilling platform passing under the Queensferry Crossing



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The barge is scheduled to remain at the port for around six weeks before being towed back east along the river to the Energy Park Fife in Methil where its cargo will be unloaded for decommissioning. Pictured: The barge carrying the drilling rig goes under the iconic Forth Bridge, a railway bridge built in 1980 

The Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, at 382 metres long and 124 metres wide, the largest construction vessel in the world, transferred its huge cargo of a topside drilling platform onto the 200-metre long cargo barge, the Iron Lady

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