53 tonnes of diesel could be in the sea

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

Teams from Smit Salvage and Transocean will continue inspections on board the rig this week and the rig remains in the original position. Salvors identified two of the four diesel fuel tanks on the rig appear to have been breached. It is estimated that the maximum amount of diesel which could have been lost from those tanks is 53 tonnes and salvors will determine the quantity of diesel remaining in those tanks during the course of the salvage operation. Diesel is a light and non persistent oil which presents much lower environmental risks than heavy black crude oil.

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.