Local fishermen are seeking compensation from those responsible for an oil rig grounding on the west of Lewis, although the immediate threat of serious environmental damage may have been contained so far.

Other businesses say they have also felt the impact of the 17,000 tonne semi-submersible Transocean Winner landing on their Hebridean doorstep over a week ago. Meanwhile MPs and MSPs for Highlands and Islands are demanding a second emergency tug be reinstated to cover the Western Isles.

|The rig had been on its way to Malta from Norway when the cable to the tug towing it broke in stormy seas. It left the structure to be swept ashore near Dalmore Beach in the Carloway area of the island.

Two of its four fuel tanks had been breached during the grounding and more than 12,000 gallons of diesel oil were lost, but largely dispersed by the high seas

Duncan MacInnes, secretary of the Western Isle Fishermen’s Association, said local fishermen were now suffering:

“There is a 300m exclusion zone, which is covering the lobster and brown crab grounds. But with this fantastic weather it's the very time local fishermen would be able to get closer into the shore. But once the weather breaks they won’t be able to get back there. So they are excluded from their area at the time they would get the most out of it, because of shortcomings of whoever was in charge of the rig operation.

“When the tanker the Braer went aground on Shetland (January 1993) the fishermen were compensated for the length of time they were excluded from their fishing grounds. So that is what should happen here for the three or four boats which would be operating in the area of the rig at this time of year. It is an important fishing ground for them.”

He said while the immediate threat from diesel or chemicals, appeared to have passed, there was a concern if the rig remained in its present position oil from generators might escape.

“The wind is changing this week to an easterly direction. So if there was anything on the surface it would push in the direction of Loch Roag where there is extensive salmon and mussel farming and seaweed cutting. So hopefully there will be no other spills.”

He said rigs should be have been towed through the Minch with compulsory pilotage.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said that nearly 140,000 litres of diesel that remains on the stricken rig is to be pumped to tanks above the water surface to reduce the environmental threat.

Meanwhile there is still concern that it took the Coastguard emergency towing vessel (ETV) Herakles took 18 hours to get to the grounding site from its Orkney base. It reignited the row over the UK Government’s decision to withdraw a second ETV from Stornoway at the end of 2011, against Lord Donaldson's recommendations in his report on the Braer.

Now a joint open letter from SNP Highlands and Islands politicians has called on Westminster’s Transport Secretary to reinstate a second emergency towing vehicle (ETV) in Scotland urgently.

The group wrote to Chris Grayling with their concerns following the inaugural meeting of MPs and MSPs across the region in Dingwall.

They argued that a similar incident could be “absolutely catastrophic” for local communities and the environment alike, and that one ETV covering the whole of Scotland’s coastline was “utterly inadequate and unacceptable”.

Meanwhile the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and KIMO International - "an international local authority organisation working to protect and enhance the marine environment"- are alarmed by the grounding of the Transocean Winner. They say this incident showed the real dangers of sea transportation of hazardous materials and the problems that exist with just one ETV covering the whole of Scotland.