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
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.
The salvage crew planned to examine the vessel again in the protected waters.
Shell reported superficial damage above the deck and seawater within that entered through open hatches. Water has knocked out regular and emergency generators, but portable generators were put on board last week.
“There will be some extensive examination of the rig,” said Ignacio Gonzalez, a spokesman at the Kulluk incident command center.
The Kulluk is a circular barge 266 feet in diameter with a funnel-shaped, reinforced steel hull that allows it to operate in ice. One of two Shell vessels that drilled last year in the Arctic Ocean, it has a 160-foot derrick rising from its center.
The Kulluk on Dec. 27 was being towed to Seattle for upgrades and maintenance when it ran into trouble during a strong Gulf of Alaska storm.
Its tow line to the Aiviq parted, and a day later, all four engines quit on the Aiviq, possibly due to contaminated fuel.
Four re-attached lines between the Aiviq or other vessels also broke in stormy weather.
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