The UK coastguard has sent a bill in the region of £400,000 to drilling giants Transocean after one of its oil rigs ran aground off the Western Isles.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will be charging the oil company for the emergency response and recovery of one of its rigs after it crashed last year.
Transocean Winner ran aground at Dalmore beach on Lewis during a storm on August 8 after it was detached from a tug while being towed to Malta.
It was also revealed that the stricken 17,000-tonne oil rig’s tank had been breached during the incident with more than 12,000 gallons (56,000 litres) of diesel oil lost.
However, most of the diesel was thought to have evaporated with no damage to the environment.
Recovering the rig took around three weeks before it was eventually re-floated onto heavy lift ship, the Hawk, and towed to Turkey for scrapping.
Included in the coastguard’s expenses are staffing costs, which include the helicopter flights used to transport workers to the site.
A spokeswoman for the MCA said: “The costs to the Maritime & Coastguard
Agency for responding to the Transocean Winner incident are in the region of £400,000.”
“That includes things like staffing costs and aerial costs. It is our intention to recover the cost from Transocean and the MCA has submitted a claim accordingly.
“Within the aerial costs are surveillance flights and the helicopter flights to move people onto the grounded rig.
“Staff costs are just that – i.e hours, accommodation, etc. In addition there is the cost of independent salvage advice to the Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime & Salvage.”
However, the bill only covers costs incurred by the coastguard service during the operation and won’t include expenses from other emergency or public services.
According to Transocean, the redundant 33-year-old rig had racked up a bill of £17 million by the end of September last year.
Fisherman received thousands-of-pounds in compensation after they were forbidden from working in the area, while a further £120,000 was to donated by the company to the local Carloway and Dalmore communities.