Shell drill ship breaks loose from tow vessels, runs aground

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Kodiak overflies the tugs Aiviq and Nanuq tandem towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk 116 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. The tug Alert from Prince William Sound and the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley from Kodiak are en route to assist. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Usher.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Kodiak overflies the tugs Aiviq and Nanuq tandem towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk 116 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. The tug Alert from Prince William Sound and the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley from Kodiak are en route to assist. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Usher.

A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill ship has again broke loose from two towing vessels in a Gulf of Alaska storm and run aground on Sitkalidak Island.

The unified command center reports the Kulluk lost its tow lines with a tug boat and a 360-foot anchor handler on Monday night as the vessels tried to ride out forecast winds gusting to 69 mph and waves running up to 40 feet.

The vessel had been east of Kodiak Island. Its exact location was not immediately disclosed.

The command center says safety of personnel involved and the environment is a top priority.

The drill ship first broke loose from its towing vessel Thursday night.

Repeated attempts to harness it have failed.

 

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