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Media Contact: (907) 463-2065

17th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: Jan. 02, 2013

Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs Office

Contact: Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs Office

Office: (907) 463-2065

Coast Guard 17th District assists Kulluk Tow Incident unified command

Editor's note: Click the photo for a high resolution image.

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, 17th Coast Guard District and 17th District Incident Management Team commander, observes the conical drilling unit Kulluk from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter during a second overflight Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. The Kulluk grounded on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island Monday night. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.
Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, 17th Coast Guard District and 17th District Incident Management Team commander, observes the conical drilling unit Kulluk from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter during a second overflight Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. The Kulluk grounded on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island Monday night. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Coast Guard's 17th District continues to provide assistance to the Kulluk Tow Incident unified command, Wednesday.

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, Coast Guard 17th District and commander of Coast Guard forces in Alaska, is actively assisting and supporting Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Kulluk Tow Incident.

"My primary concern is ensuring the unified command has the personnel, assets and equipment they need to safely salvage the Kulluk," said Ostebo. "I have over flown the Kulluk twice and am fully aware of the remote location, weather challenges and the extensive plans that will have to be developed to ensure this incident is managed in safe and effective manner."

Ostebo is also working with the unified command to ensure that the public, stakeholders and elected officials are kept up to date on the response and its objectives.

"This is a very large and complex response and it is important that the American public and our elected officials understand the dangerous and difficult challenges being faced by the response crews," said Ostebo. "We are continuing our collaborated response with other shareholders in the unified command until the grounded Kulluk no longer poses a threat to the pristine Alaska maritime environment. Throughout the response, our number one priority has been and will continue to be ensuring the safety of the crews involved in response operations."

Ostebo assumed the duties as the Coast Guard 17th District commander in May 2011. He is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout Alaska which includes protecting life and property, enforcing federal laws and treaties, preserving the living marine resources, and promoting national security.

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