The fuel tanks of the grounded Transocean Winner rig have ruptured and the giant facility has also taken on a significant list. It remains unclear how much fuel has leaked into the sea.
The rig ran aground off the Scottish isle of Lewis earlier this week when its towline snapped while it was being towed from Norway to Malta in very windy conditions. The rig has 280 tons of diesel in its fuel tanks.
Smit Salvage is on site and has inspected the rig, but continued high winds are preventing salvage efforts, which will likely cost millions of dollars. Bad weather is likely to continue until Sunday.
Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented: “The news that some of the fuel tanks appear to have breached is obviously concerning, especially given the proximity of the grounded rig to the beach and the presence in the wider area of important marine habitats and species.”