Kulluk Drillship Towed to Safe Harbor

The ship was towed from Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, to Kiliuda Bay and its condition will be assessed there, the Unified Command reported.

The drillship Kulluk was safely towed to a harbor location in Kiliuda Bay at approximately 10 a.m. local time Jan. 7 after being towed about 45 nautical miles from Sitaklidak Island, where it had run aground Dec. 31. The Unified Command reported the 12-hour journey was uneventful, with no indication of oil leaking from it.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley escorted the tow to Kiliuda Bay along with two oil spill response vessels and other support vessels. A 500-yard-radius safety zone is still in place around the Kulluk.

The Jan. 7 report said 15,000 feet of boom are available and additional boom has been staged in various locations, in case it is needed.

The Kulluk was in tow in high seas and high winds when the towlines failed, and it grounded on the southeast shoreline of the island about 9 p.m. local time Dec. 31.

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