Cargo barge The Iron Lady travels under the Forth bridges in weekend operation

It was a spectacular sight to see as one the most remarkable marine operations ever undertaken unfolded in the Forth at the weekend.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 4:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 4:46 pm

In an operation spanning two days, 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, on Saturday.

And on Sunday the Pioneering Spirit, separated from the Iron Lady and the cargo barge was towed clear.

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Aerial image of the Iron Lady barge with its cargo of a topside drilling platform for decommissioning being towed by Forth Ports tugs at the Forth Bridges into The Port of Rosyth on Sunday , April 11. Credit: Airbourne Lens

With its cargo safely secured, the Iron Lady was then towed westwards along the River Forth by Forth Ports’ tugs, the Craigleith, Inchkeith and Fidra in a carefully planned operation to ensure the structure had clearance to travel below the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing before berthing at the Port of Rosyth. It will be for there six weeks before being towed to Energy Park Fife in Methil for decommissioning.

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The Iron Lady barge with its cargo of a topside drilling platform for decommissioning being towed by Forth Ports tugs under the Forth Bridges into The Port of Rosyth on Sunday 11th April. Credit: Peter Devlin

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