That photo by West Seattle’s Long Bach Nguyen shows Shell’s drillship Kulluk and tow vessel Aiviq as they headed north in Puget Sound on June 27th after Kulluk spent almost a year getting work done at Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards. Also leaving that day, Shell drillship Noble Discoverer, after almost three months at Vigor – and now, after a reportedly rocky summer in the Arctic, the vessels are all reported to be headed here again for what’s described as maintenance work – but the journey itself hasn’t been smooth sailing so far, according to multiple news reports. The Aiviq had engine trouble while towing the Kulluk in rough seas, and the Kulluk was almost evacuated today as a result – here’s the latest. Meantime, Noble Discoverer is reported to be under investigation for potential safety and pollution-control problems, but reports including this one say it’s being allowed to head this way for shipyard work. No Seattle ETA announced so far for either drilling vessel, but we will be checking; MarineTraffic.com shows Aiviq still off Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, while Noble Discoverer is listed as “out of range.”
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