Tugs collide while maneuvering around Kulluk

Lisa Demer

Two tugboats maneuvering around Royal Dutch Shell's oil drilling rig, the Kulluk, collided Friday afternoon, but the damage was minimal, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The Corbin Foss, one of Seattle-based Foss Maritimes' tugboats, hit the port side of the Ocean Wave, a Crowley Marine Services tug, around 5:30 p.m. Friday in Killiuida Bay on the eastern side of Kodiak Island, where the Kulluk is anchored while awaiting Coast Guard approval to leave, said Petty Officer David Mosley.

No one was injured, no pollution occurred, and the damage to the Ocean Wave was minor, Mosely said. The tugs sailed to the harbor in Kodiak where they were met by inspectors from Kodiak's Coast Guard marine safety detachment, Mosley said.

He said it wasn't clear why the collision happened and the report made no reference to weather being a factor.

The Kulluk grounded Dec. 31 during a storm but was refloated. The Coast Guard is reviewing Shell's tow plan and evaluating whether the vessel is seaworthy for a tow to Dutch Harbor. From there, Shell plans to haul it out of the water to Asia for more extensive repairs and inspections.




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