REPORT #1: Shell departing Terminal 5; sea blockade attempt under way

(SCROLL DOWN for updates)

(WSB photo, Sunday @ Don Armeni Boat Ramp)
12:21 AM: Hours after the latest anti-Shell rally at Don Armeni Park – this time, led by Native activists (WSB photo above) – the “Shell No” group says it believes Polar Pioneer will try to depart from Terminal 5 today.

(WSB photo, Sunday from Jack Block Park)
It’s put out a call for people to be ready to join a flotilla blockade, potentially departing from Don Armeni Boat Ramp, where the protest coalition has been headquartered. It’s been exactly a month since the platform leased by Shell for Arctic drilling arrived in West Seattle. The Noble Discoverer drillship, which Shell also plans to deploy, has remained moored in Everett rather than coming to T-5 as once expected.

1:38 AM: A Coast Guard cutter, Blue Shark, is patroling near T-5; in all our watching of maritime comings and goings, we haven’t seen that lately. A Port police boat remains in the area too. And the tug Garth Foss, one of the Foss tugs that brought Polar Pioneer to Seattle from Port Angeles a month ago, arrived in the area not long ago and is stopped offshore northwest of Jack Block Park. Meantime, for a look inside Polar Pioneer and details of exactly where it’s being sent and why, read this in-depth Houston Chronicle story (link tweeted by Stranger reporter Sydney Brownstone).

3:10 AM: Two more of the 4 Foss tugs that brought Polar Pioneer here last month are either in Elliott Bay now (Andrew Foss) or almost here (Lindsey Foss).

4:20 AM: Text alert from the ShellNo Action Council says kayakers have formed “a human blockade to stop Shell from leaving Seattle.” Meantime, tugs are gathering at T-5, shows.

5:31 AM: The activity continues to intensify; more Coast Guard and police vessels are in the area, and one texter tells us a USCG helicopter is up too. We’re heading out for a firsthand look, now that it’s light.

6:16 AM: We’re at Jack Block and Polar Pioneer is definitely pulling out. It’s approaching a water blockade. We’ll be updating in a separate report.

13 Replies to "REPORT #1: Shell departing Terminal 5; sea blockade attempt under way"

  • Pigeonpointer June 15, 2015 (5:10 am)

    I thought they wanted Shell to leave Seattle….. Now they want ’em to stay?

  • kap June 15, 2015 (5:30 am)

    Um, I thought the protesters didn’t WANT the platform there…

  • Bsmomma June 15, 2015 (5:49 am)

    Lots of helicopters right now!

  • GoBacktoWork June 15, 2015 (6:07 am)

    Let me get this straight, protests have been happening because Shell parked an oil rig in Seattle, now they are trying to block the rig from leaving Seattle with a kayak flotilla blockade? Wow, talk about a love/hate relationship. This has all the makings of a great romantic comedy! Maybe Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are available for a Sleepless in Seattle follow-up? Any ideas for movie names? I’ll start the ideas with “When Hipsters Met Shell”? Sorry, not my best, but I have had a stupid helicopter hovering over my house since at least 5am because of some d-bags in Elliot Bay…

  • Neigbor June 15, 2015 (6:27 am)

    You guys are being obtuse

  • Phil Mocek June 15, 2015 (6:39 am)

    Protests have been happening because Shell intend to drill in the Arctic and Port of Seattle are assisting them.

  • kaf June 15, 2015 (6:39 am)

    Do you know of any resulting delays to the water taxi schedule?

    • WSB June 15, 2015 (6:43 am)

      No, the Water Taxi just went on by like normal. It has a history of being able to dodge large vessels if need be.

  • wscommuter June 15, 2015 (7:25 am)

    @Neighbor – no … not obtuse. Pointing out the epic silliness of these protesters. We get it … “Shell bad” … its just that this is so ridiculous to behave this way, as though this would have any effect whatsoever on whether arctic drilling occurs.
    Want to effect change? Talk to your legislators … tax carbon fuels highly enough to make alternative energy competitive in the market.
    Or ride a kayak out in front of an oil rig … let me know how that works for you.

  • bestbets June 15, 2015 (8:25 am)

    These protestors have been talking to their legislators, have been a presence at port meetings andhave otherwise been active in trying to stop Seattle’s support of Shell Oil’s plans to drill in the Arctic – whether you agree or not, their willingness to take risks for what they believe in is pretty darn impressive. Complaining about others who are taking a stand and doing the work in comments on WSB…nothing impressive there.

  • redblack June 15, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    wscommuter: screw that! if you want to stop them from mooring here, charge them exorbitant rent, on the order of billions of dollars. take them to their pain point.
    if they still decide that this is the best place for deep water moorage, at least they’ll be paying for light rail, or some other solution to seattle’s traffic woes.
    or that @#$%&! tunnel…
    looking for a cash cow to pay for major transportation upgrades? it just walked out the door.
    and it didn’t leave a tip.

  • redblack June 15, 2015 (5:16 pm)

    and, no. i’m not talking about gouging foss. althought their behavior in this ballyhoo was pretty crass. and i’m not talking about screwing fishermen or stevedores or anyone else who works with the community and plays by the rules.
    just royal dutch shell.

  • Mike June 15, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    Things Shell changed since the protests…none. Why, because they’re making billions. Until they see a decline in revenue from drilling, they’ll keep on doing it. A Kayak, a protester, shoot even bad PR in the news does not impact Shell executives or shareholders. Put things in perspective, we go to war and spend in the order of trillions of USD to protect our interests. We’re not fighting for humanity, we’re fighting and killing to protect our interests in OIL and other natural resources, like LITHIUM. Yes, that thing in those EV’s, we’re fighting wars for that and here’s some info on that for you the other thing EV’s with lithium-ion batteries requires even more than Lithium is Graphene, which is mined from some of the most volatile locations on Earth. It’s becoming one of the most sought after natural resources to support the growing demand of our increased use of electric vehicles, home and business back up power supplies and more

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