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    Main tow line attached, Kulluk ready for transit

    News // January 7, 2013

    The main tow line has been attached to Kulluk (photo: Unified Command).

    Salvage teams have successfully attached the main tow line to the Kulluk drilling unit,which grounded off Alaska last week,and theUnified Command has confirmed thatall elements are in place for towing operations to proceed.

    Tension was expected tobe maintained on the line overnight, with recovery expected to begin on January 7th. However, the salvage master has the discretion to initiate the tow earlier should favourable conditions occur throughout the night.

    The proposed plan is thatKulluk will be moved from its current grounded position in Ocean Bay to Kiliuda Bay, about 30 miles north.

    The tow will include several vessels, includingthe Aiviq anchor-handling vessel withtowing capabilities. A US Coast Guard marine inspector is aboardAiviq.

    The salvage master is aboardKulluk and will remain during transit to Kiliuda Bay. The tug Alert will also be connected toKulluk and assist in the tow.

    A 10-member salvage crew and one Shell representative are on board Kulluk and will remain on the drilling unit throughout the tow.

    Three Seattle-based ocean-going tugs, all with towing capabilities, will support the transit Ocean Wave, Corbin Foss and Lauren Foss.

    The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley will escort the tow to Kiliuda Bay. A 500-yard radius safety zone around the Kulluk will follow the tow and remain in place once it is anchored in Kiliuda Bay.

    As part of the recovery operations, onshore, nearshore and offshore oil spill assets, including response vessels, will be on-scene in Ocean Bay and during transit.

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