Coast Guard Gives Green Light to Kulluk’s Intended Move


Stephanie Joyce/KUCB and Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

The Coast Guard lifted an order restricting movement of Shell’s Kulluk drill rig this morning (THURS). Petty Officer David Moseley says the company had to provide information about assessments of the rig and their tow plan to the Coast Guard for review.

—          (Kulluk Tow 1             :24                   “The inspection, its seaworthiness, was done by industry class certification. They are the experts on those type of vessels. They inspected, they gave us their inspection for review, so we could understand what they found, if there were any concerns, or not, that needed to be addressed prior to its being transferred, or transported, from Kiliuda Bay.”)

Now that the Captain of the Port order has been lifted, Shell is free to start towing the rig whenever it sees fit. The company couldn’t be reached for comment, and Moseley didn’t know when the tow will commence, but says that the Coast Guard will be notified.

—          (Kulluk Tow 2             :07                   “We will know once they start that transit and we will monitor it as they make their transit to Unalaska.”)

For now, the rig is anchored in Kiliuda Bay, on the south side of Kodiak Island.

That’s where two of the tugs that will be towing the Kulluk to Unalaska collided on Friday afternoon. While working in close proximity, the Corbin Foss ran into the port side of the Ocean Wave. Petty Officer Moseley says there were no injuries and that the damage was minimal, but that the Marine Safety Detachment in Kodiak inspected both vessels.

—          (Kulluk Tow 3             :28                   “When we have an incident with reported damage that could impact the vessel, we, as the Coast Guard, want to ensure the safety of that vessel and the crew onboard so we will provide an inspection and an investigation into the incident to include things like drug testing of the crew, taking down statements of what was going on at the time, so we get a clear understanding of what was going on to see if there’s anything that needs to be addressed in the future with similar operations.”)

The Ocean Wave is currently docked at Pier II in Kodiak and the Corbin Foss remains in Kiliuda Bay.

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