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17th District Alaska Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

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News Release

January 18, 2013

Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs Office

Contact: Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs Office


Office: (907) 463-2065

Imagery Available: Coast Guard continues oversight of the Kulluk

Editors note: Click on images below to download high resolution photos

A Coast Guard inspector climbs storm-damaged stairs during an inspection aboard the conical drilling unit Kulluk in Kiliuda Bay, Alaska, Jan. 10, 2013.  The Kulluk grounded on Sitkalidak Island, Dec. 31, 2012, was refloated Jan. 6, 2013 and was safely towed to Kiliuda Bay Jan. 7, 2013.  U.S. Coast Guard photo.    A Coast Guard inspector surveys damaged parts and equipment aboard the storm damaged conical drilling unit Kulluk in Kiliuda Bay, Alaska, Jan. 10, 2013. Coast Guard inspectors continue to monitor the ongoing survey and response to the Kulluk after it went aground on Sitkalidak Island during a Gulf of Alaska winter storm Dec. 31, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard continues to oversee the assessment of the conical drilling unit Kulluk that ran aground Dec. 31, 2012 on Sitkalidak Island and was later refloated and anchored in Kiliuda Bay.

Coast Guard personnel from the National Center of Expertise, the Salvage Emergency Response Team and Sector Anchorage have been aboard the Kulluk to assess the vessel’s stability, identify any potential pollution issues and to gather information for the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Inspectors have surveyed the interior and exterior condition of the vessel as well as reviewed remote operated vehicle inspection video of the vessel’s hull.  Available information is being analyzed to ensure the safety of the vessel, responding crews and the preservation of the maritime environment.

“We have had highly specialized inspectors and investigators working on this case,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.  “Our goals continue to be safety of life at sea, protection of the maritime environment, and investigating the circumstances that led to the incident.”

USCG Sector Anchorage personnel maintain oversight of the operation and will conduct additional inspections as needed to ensure the safety of the ongoing operation.

A Coast Guard Captain of the Port Order remains in effect on the Kulluk and restricts the movement of the vessel from Kiliuda Bay.

 Rear Adm. Thomas P. Ostebo, Commander, Coast Guard 17th District, ordered a formal marine casualty investigation on Jan. 4, 2013, into the circumstances and contributing factors surrounding the grounding of the Kulluk.

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