Unified Command Issues Kulluk Update
Update #37: Kulluk assessment continues, Sitkalidak Island debris removal.
Unified Command confirmed the following information today:
Assessment of the Kulluk drilling vessel in Kiliuda Bay continues, with inspection-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) being utilized to assess the hull. There continues to be no sign of leakage from the Kulluk.
Assessment crews at the direction of Unified Command, along with local representation from Old Harbor Native Corporation, continue to survey the grounding area in Sitkalidak Island to enable the recovery of survival and rescue boats and other debris from the Kulluk. Cleanup activities on the shoreline will proceed in the next few days, daylight and weather permitting. A local archeologist visited the grounding site Jan. 8 and did not identify any cultural artifacts of interest that the cleanup would disturb.
Four survival boats and one rescue boat were dislodged from the Kulluk, either while it was towed or when it grounded on Sitkalidak Island. Each of the survival boats included a 68-gallon capacity diesel tank. Unified Command has been informed that one tank is intact, two tanks have been damaged and one is inaccessible to be able to determine its condition. As such, approximately up to 272 gallons of diesel fuel may have been released from the tanks. However, Unified Command’s assessment crews will examine the tanks as soon as they are able to arrive on Sitkalidak Island. If any fluids are identified to have been released on the shoreline, Unified Command will be prepared to mitigate as required.