ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill vessel pulled from rocks off a remote Alaska island approached shelter Monday morning in a protected Kodiak Island bay.
By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, January 7, 6:55 PM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill vessel pulled from rocks off a remote Alaska island approached shelter Monday morning in a protected Kodiak Island bay.The Kulluk, a circular drill barge without its own propulsion, ran aground New Year’s Eve in a powerful storm. It was being towed to Seattle for maintenance before it ran aground, but the lines that connected it to the towing ship broke.
That same ship, the 360-foot Aiviq, pulled the Kulluk off the rocky bottom near Sitkalidak Island at 10:10 p.m. Sunday and started a slow tow toward Kiliuda Bay.High winds and sea swells threatened to slow the barge’s 30-mile journey to the bay. But the ship made steady progress, moving about 4 mph. By 9 a.m., the vessels were about four miles from where crews planned to anchor up.
The massive effort to move and salvage the ship involves more than 730 people, according to the Unified Command, which includes the Coast Guard, Shell and contractors involved in the tow and salvage operation. Eleven people are aboard the ship — a salvage crew of 10 people and one Shell representative.
The Kulluk is carrying more than 140,000 gallons of diesel and about 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid.
A tug trailing the drill vessel used infrared equipment to watch for oil sheens and reported no petroleum discharge.