'Kulluk' Rig Latest News: Enquiry Also Ordered

Press Release
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Towing of the 'Kulluk': Image credit Unified Command

Kulluk remains anchored in Alaska's Kiliuda Bay, ROVs due to arrive for hull integrity assessment.

Unified Command confirmed the following information:

  • The Kulluk remains safely anchored in Kiliuda Bay at its assessment position. There continues to be no sign of leakage in the vicinity.
  • Support vessels will remain with the Kulluk during its assessment, while other resources contracted specifically for the salvage operation are in the process of demobilizing.
  • Remote-Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are arriving at the Kulluk later today to begin assessing the hull. Divers will be deployed if necessary.
  • Unified Command, along with local representation from Old Harbor Native Corporation, are surveying the area to obtain GPS coordinates that will enable the recovery of lifeboats and other debris from the Kulluk.
  • Time and weather permitting, the team today will begin collecting debris from the shoreline.

In related news,  Rear Adm. Thomas P. Ostebo, the Coast Guard 17th District commander, has ordered a formal marine casualty investigation into the circumstances and contributing factors involved in the grounding of the drilling unit Kulluk on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska on Dec. 31, 2012. (A formal marine casualty investigation is convened when a vessel casualty has considerable regional significance, may indicate vessel class problems, or is the best means to assess technical issues that may have contributed to the incident.)

Unified Command also released the map of the Kulluk’s final tow route (see illustration) which shows the revised path avoiding the cod pots in the Gulf of Alaska.

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