The Coast Guard report on the New Year’s Eve grounding of the drill vessel Kulluk will likely not be made public until 2014. Cmdr. Joshua McTaggart of the Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise in Louisiana has been granted a six-week extension to complete a report based on the nine-day investigative hearing held in Anchorage in May, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
The Royal Dutch Shell-owned Kulluk ran aground off Alaska on Dec. 31, 2012. The conical drilling unit was being towed by the 360’8″×80’×34′ ice-class anchor-handling tug/supply (AHTS) vessel Aiviq, designed, built and owned by Cut Off, La.-based Edison Chouest Offshore and chartered by Shell. The Aiviq’s engines failed during the tow.
Numerous vessels responded to help the Kulluk over three days, but none could hold on, as the 266′ diameter rig was pulled closer to shore. Despite the best efforts of the 10,000-hp Alert, a Crowley Marine Services tug and the last vessel to stay connected to the Kulluk after the Aiviq lost its tow line, managers made the decision to release the tow after the Alert’s engines, operating at full power, could not control the rig.
Hours later, the ship ran aground in shallow water off Sitkalidak Island, near Kodiak Island.
Read more about the hearing:
Testimony offers insight into the Shell Kulluk grounding