Arctic Offshore Rig Gets USCG Escort
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crews escorted heavy lift ship Blue Marlin as it toted a controversial 38,000-metric-ton drilling rig into Port Angeles, Wash., Friday.
Blue Marlin, Dockwise’s 674-foot semi-submersible heavy lift ship, was escorted into its anchorage location in Port Angeles while carrying Polar Pioneer, a column-stabilized offshore drilling rig expected to be a key piece in Arctic operations for Royal Dutch Shell.
Six Greenpeace activists climbed the rig while in transit on April 6 approximately 750 miles northwest of Hawaii following the U.S. Dept. of Interior’s approval of Shell’s drilling lease for the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic. Bad weather conditions forced the protesters to disembark after spending six days on the rig.
The USCG established safety zones around the Blue Marlin and oil drilling vessels while in Puget Sound. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Clallam County and City of Port Angeles boatcrews also assisted in escorting the vessel.
A video of the escort is available here.