Monday, January 07, 2013

A Flurry of Kulluk Updates As It Moves To And Then Arrives At Kiliuda Bay

A series of communications from the Kulluk Unified Command tell us that at 10:10pm last night the Kulluk was refloated from its stranded position and then towed  about 12 hours,  45 nautical knots, to Kiliuda Bay.  They held a news briefing at 10am in Anchorage.

Here are the 9 email alerts (one, not numbered, was about the news briefing)  I got:
DATE: January 6, 2013 11:30:00 PM AKST
For more information contact:
Unified Command
voice: (907) 433-3417
Update #27: Kulluk Refloated: Assessment to Follow

January 6, 2013
ANCHORAGE, AK: At approximately 10:10 p.m., the Kulluk drilling vessel was refloated from its Sitkalidak Island position.
Currently, the Kulluk is attached to the Aiviq by tow line.  The Kulluk is currently floating offshore while personnel are assessing the condition of the vessel.  Three additional tugs are on standby along with the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and two oil spill response vessels.  
“Following this initial step forward, we will continue to remain cautious while we assess the Kulluk’s condition,” said Martin Padilla, Incident Commander.  “We will not move forward to the next phase until we are confident that we can safely transport the vessel.”
There are currently more than 730 people involved in the response and recovery operation including local residents and a local on-site coordinator.  Following this stage of the operation there continue to be no injuries to response personnel.
Further information will follow.

DATE: January 7, 2013 1:50:00 AM AKST
Update #28: Unified Command Update

January 7, 2013, Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013
  • As of 1:45 a.m. the Kulluk remains in tow by the Aiviq traveling at 4.2 knots (4.8 mph)
  • The location of the Kulluk is approximately 16 miles from land 

DATE: January 7, 2013 3:35:00 AM AKST
Update #29: Unified Command Update

January 7, 2013,
Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013
  • As of 3 a.m. the Kulluk remains in tow by the Aiviq traveling at 4.8 knots (5.5 mph)
  • The location of the Kulluk is approximately 19 miles from land
  • The Nanuq crew, utilizing infrared equipment on board, reports that there are no initial signs of a discharge of oil in the water as of 2:57 a.m. 

DATE: January 7, 2013 3:35:00 AM AKST [While this is the same time as the last one, the email itself says it arrived a 4:47am and the update is as of 4am]
Update #30: Unified Command Update

January 7, 2013,
Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013
  • As of 4 a.m. the Kulluk remains in tow by the Aiviq traveling at 3.8 knots (4.3 mph) and is traveling in a northerly direction.
  • The location of the Kulluk is approximately 16 miles from land.
  • Results of soundings of fuel tanks taken since the Kulluk refloated are consistent with earlier soundings taken by the recovery crew.
DATE: January 7, 2013 5:35:00 AM AKST
Update #31: Unified Command Update

January 7, 2013
Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013
  • As of 5:20 a.m. the Kulluk remains in tow by the Aiviq traveling at 4.1 knots (4.7 mph) and is traveling in a northerly direction.
  • The location of the Kulluk is approximately eight miles from land.
  • A Coast Guard overflight is scheduled at first light, weather permitting.
DATE: January 7, 2013 8:00:00 AM AKST
Update #32: Unified Command Update

Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013:
  • As of 7:30 a.m. Alaska Time, the Kulluk remains in tow by the Aiviq traveling at approximately 3.5 knots (4 mph) in a northerly direction.
  • The location of the Kulluk is approximately 9.6 nautical miles away from the planned anchored location in Kiliuda Bay.
  • The Nanuq crew continues to utilize infrared equipment on board and reports that there are still no signs of a discharge.
  • A Coast Guard overflight is scheduled at first light to look for any signs of sheen, weather permitting.
The next one shows what happens when you don't check your email before you go for a run.  I totally missed the News Briefing.
DATE: January 7, 2013 8:43:28 AM AKST
Jan. 7 - Unified Command news briefing
What: A news briefing will be held at 10 – 10:30 a.m., Alaska Time, Monday, Jan. 7. Members of Unified Command will provide an update regarding the Kulluk Tow incident response.
Who:
  • Coast Guard Capt. Paul Mehler III, Federal On-scene Coordinator
  • Steven Russell, State On-scene Coordinator
  • Sean Churchfield, Incident Commander and Operations Manager for Shell Alaska
  • Duane Dvorak, Kodiak Island Borough, Local On-scene Coordinator
  • Tommy Travis, Noble Drilling, Vice President of Operations U.S.
Where: The news briefing will be held at Dena’ina Center, Kahtnu Meeting Room 1, 600 W. Seventh Ave., Anchorage, Alaska 99501.
When: 10-10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 7
Media representatives should meet at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kahtnu Meeting Room 1 to be checked in with credentials before access is provided to the conference room. In addition, note that a mult box will be provided for broadcast media.
 I'm sure they were all pumped up because the Kulluk was on the move to safer water and there's been no sign of an oil leak.  

DATE: January 7, 2013 8:00:00 AM AKST
Update #33: Kulluk remains in tow

January 7, 2013, 9 a.m. Alaska Time
Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013:
  • As of 9 a.m. Alaska Time, the Kulluk remains in tow by the Aiviq traveling at approximately 3.5 knots (4 mph) in a northerly direction.
  • The location of the Kulluk is approximately 4 nautical miles away from the planned anchored location in Kiliuda Bay.
  • The Nanuq crew continues to utilize infrared equipment on board and reports that there are still no signs of a discharge.
  • A Coast Guard overflight is scheduled at first light to look for any signs of sheen, weather permitting.

DATE: January 7, 2013 11:02:00 AM AKST
Update #34: Kulluk arrives safely at Kiliuda Bay, will undergo assessment
Jan. 7, 2013
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Unified Command has confirmed that the Kulluk, towed by the anchor handling vessel Aiviq, approached its safe harbor location in Kiliuda Bay at approximately 10 a.m., Alaska Time. The final location for assessment within the Bay will be determined by environmental conditions, including weather.
The Kulluk traveled 45 nautical miles since the start of the tow, roughly 12 hours ago. Average speed has been 3.5 knots or 4 mph.
The Kulluk was refloated from its Ocean Bay position, off Sitkalidak Island, late Jan. 6. It will remain connected to its support vessels while it undergoes assessment in Kiliuda Bay, located about 30 miles north of Ocean Bay.
The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley escorted the tow to Kiliuda Bay along with two oil spill response vessels and other support vessels. A 500-yard radius safety zone around the Kulluk followed the escort and remains in place in Kiliuda Bay.
Monitoring by the oil spill response vessels escorting the tow confirmed that there were no signs of a discharge of oil during the transit.
The combined fleet has 15,000 feet of boom should it be needed. Additional boom has been staged in various locations.
The Kulluk has been grounded since Dec. 31, after it broke tow during severe weather conditions.
Unified Command continues to coordinate with the Old Harbor Native Corporation to assist with any necessary cleanup activities. Additional spill response land resources have been staged in Old Harbor.
Yesterday afternoon, salvage teams successfully attached the main tow line to the Kulluk drilling unit.
The Salvage Master had the discretion to initiate the tow should favorable conditions occur throughout the night. At approximately 10:10 p.m., Jan. 6 the Kulluk was refloated.

The ADN story which says it was updated an hour ago - which should then include what happened at the news briefing - doesn't add much.  But another story by Rich Mauer has some interesting thoughts from others in the business about how things look.  The title sums the article up:  Kulluk's Ability To Take A Beating Impresses Experts.

[UPDATE 4:22pm AKTime]  One more update came through:

DATE: January 7, 2013 3:25:00 PM AKST
For more information contact:
Update #35: Unified Command confirms Kulluk is safely anchored
January 7, 2013
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Unified Command confirmed that the Kulluk has arrived in its final safe harbor location in Kiliuda Bay where it will undergo assessment. At approximately 12:15 p.m. Alaska Time the Kulluk’s anchor was lowered to the bottom of the Bay.
Unified Command also confirmed:
  • Support vessels Alert, Lauren Foss and Corbin Foss remain connected to the Kulluk.
  • The Aiviq has disconnected from the Kulluk but is standing by.
  • A Coast Guard overflight today did not observe any sheen in the vicinity.
  • The Warrior, Ocean Wave, Perseverance, Nanuq and Alex Haley are standing by.
Final safe harbor?  It's still a long ways from Seattle.  If Dutch Harbor couldn't service the Kulluk, surely Kiliuda Bay can't. 

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