Followup: Shell’s drilling vessel Kulluk anchors in ‘safe harbor’

January 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

That’s U.S. Coast Guard video from flyovers (nighttime until about :50 in) during the towing of the Shell drilling vessel Kulluk, which is now reported to be anchored in a “safe harbor” 30 miles from where it ran aground on Alaska’s Kodiak Island. As reported previously, Kulluk was being towed back to Seattle – where it spent almost a year at Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards, before heading to the Arctic ocean for exploratory drilling – when things went very wrong in bad weather, and it eventually drifted loose and grounded. A “Unified Command” was formed to handle the situation, and early this morning, Kulluk was re-floated and towed about 30 miles. It’s now scheduled to be examined and evaluated, before a decision is made what to do next – possibly a resumption of the trip back here. By the way, the oceangoing tugs participating in the operation right now include one from Crowley on Harbor Island, the Ocean Wave.

8 Comments

  1. Cool video. Glad to see the rig is floating though it seemed it might have a slight list. I bet Shell is glad they saved the taxes on the rig — I bet the Unified Command and incident response costs will be many multiples of the tax bill.

    Comment by JayDee — 5:52 pm January 7, 2013 #

  2. Besides Ocean Wave–U.S.C.G. Cutter Alex Haley was involved, along with tug vessels Warrior, Corbin Foss, Aiviq and two others that are not coming up on the A.I.S. link as of now. It was quite the sea-going containment and it seems that all is going O.K. for now.

    Comment by let them swim — 6:24 pm January 7, 2013 #

  3. Alaska is beautiful! Look at those snowy mountains! Thanks for the update and sharing that video. Amazing to see how the that huge rig dwarfs the tugs!

    Comment by SudsyMaggie — 7:06 pm January 7, 2013 #

  4. As a former Alaskan resident one cannot be prouder of what she offers. A key component is her natural resources. Gold, zinc, silver, oil, gas…. But she can be brutal in weather to those that try and extract. A truth throughout the history of man – well before the white man. This time we are fortunate that no human life was lost. This is directly a result of the large resources brought to bear by Shell, the State of Alaska and the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Comment by Mark — 8:03 pm January 7, 2013 #

  5. This whole incident is directly the result of Shell Oil Corporation’s malfeasence and greed. Because of that, they put the lives of many working-class seafarers at risk and will likely cost the American taxpayers how many millions of unrecoverable dollars?
    I guess I have a more difficult time gleaning any nobility from this, considering the thinking that went into the inception of the event.

    Comment by dawsonct — 11:44 pm January 7, 2013 #

  6. why weren’t there foss tugs on this thing from beginning? Foss is thoroughly respected and experienced… and why only 2 company tugs? cut expenses? didn’t want to pay out for 3d party services? The arrogance of Shell oil is unbelievable. I read 6 tugs to haul it into safe harbour, but my brain really can’t fathom the stupidity of two tugs for long haul from Alaska to Seattle in winter storm season. Armchair executives hedge money and environment because unfortunately they don’t live with reality. So now Foss, Crowley tugs which means outside criticism and knowledge of Shell stupidity. These folks know Alaskan seas and dangers. They shouldn’t be drilling up there at all. the stupidity is unfathomable. totally unfathomable- too deep to explore. Hope Shell gets fined for ever small violation/ infraction found. We need our fish and environment. they’re irreplaceable. totally disgusted.

    Comment by pogomcl — 6:32 am January 8, 2013 #

  7. I can hear the violins playing now. Glad the rig is safe.

    Comment by cr — 8:03 am January 8, 2013 #

  8. Comming back to seattle for repairs. Sounds like job sucurety for the repair guys. As far as risking lives to save this ridge, these people get payed to do this. This is what they do. firefighters get payed to run into burning buildings, cops get payed to take down armed criminals, roofers get payed to work up on high roof. And I’m sure shell will be footing the bill for this.

    Comment by boy — 9:35 am January 8, 2013 #

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