A damage assessment team from Smit Salvage and Transocean has been on board the oil rig grounded off the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, to carry out a series of inspections.

The Transocean Winner rig remains on the west coast of the island, near Carloway, where it washed up after becoming detached from its tug boat in a storm.

It was reported to be carrying 280 metric tonnes of diesel oil on board in total, split between a number of separate tanks.

During initial inspections, salvors discovered that two of the four fuel tanks appeared to have been breached. It is estimated that the maximum amount of diesel which could have been lost from those tanks is 53 tonnes. Diesel is a light and non persistent oil which presents a lower environmental risks than heavy black crude oil.

However, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) says no pollution has been detected in the area of the rig.

As well as continual observations on scene, the MCA counter pollution surveillance aircraft yesterday flew over the location and surrounding area to make observations for pollution around the rig and the nearby coast and sea and no sheen or sign of pollution has been found.


The 17,000-tonne, semi-submersible Transocean Winner rig was being towed from Norway to Malta when it became detached from its tug boat Alp Forward and grounded overnight on Sunday, in stormy conditions. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out an investigation.

What’s next?

Additional salvors and technical experts from Transocean and equipment continue to arrive to the incident area to support the operation.

A temporary exclusion zone of 300 metres to keep boats away remains in force.

The tug Union Bear remains in the vicinity along with the Emergency Towing Vessel Herakles, which is funded by the UK Government to support the operation.

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative for maritime and salvage continues to monitor the operations and is maintaining contact with all the key stakeholders including Transocean, Smit Salvage, the Scottish Environment Group and Western Isles Council.


Righting an upturned pontoon

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