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Kulluk's M/V Aiviq Tow-Gulf of Alaska Situation Report No. 1

ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Division of Spill Prevention and Response
Prevention and Emergency Response Program

SITUATION REPORT

M/V Aiviq Tow-Gulf of Alaska

SITREP #:  1 

SPILL #:  12249936201

TIME/DATE OF DISTRIBUTION:  5 p.m., December 30, 2012

POTENTIAL RESPONSIBLE PARTY (PRP):  Edison Chouest Offshore (owner of the M/V Aiviq)

INCIDENT LOCATION:  18.7 nautical miles south southeast of Sitkinak Island.  Lat/Long 56.22150N, -153.68550W (as of 7:54 a.m., December 30).

TIME/DATE OF SPILL:  No spill has occurred.  The towline between the M/V Aiviq and the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Kulluk parted on December 27 due to mechanical failure of the tow shackle.  The tow was subsequently regained at position 56 17’.5N 152 09.5W, about 65 miles SSW of Kodiak.  The Coast Guard notified DEC on December 27 at approximately 4:30 p.m., followed by immediate notification by Shell.

HOW/WHEN SPILL WAS DISCOVERED:  This is a potential spill.

TYPE/AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED:  None. 

CAUSE OF SPILL:   This is a potential spill.  After the tow was regained, the M/V Aiviq experienced multiple engine failure and loss of propulsion.  The cause of the engine failure will be determined during a follow-on investigation.             

SOURCE CONTROL:  The M/V Aiviq regained the tow, and yesterday afternoon the M/V Nanuq joined the M/V Aiviq in towing the MODU Kulluk.  The M/V Alert has arrived on scene as of approximately 1:30 p.m. to assist.  A Salvage Plan and a Spill Response Plan are being developed to address the possibility of any potential grounding of the drill rig.  Both the Nanuq and the Aiviq lost their tow of the MODU Kulluk shortly after 2 p.m. 

RESPONSE ACTION:  The Unified Command has been formed and consists of Shell, the Coast Guard, DEC, and the local on-scene coordinator from Kodiak.  The Coast Guard airlifted fuel injectors and filters to the M/V Aiviq, and the engines were brought back to partial operational status on December 28 and full operational status on December 29.  A Refueling Plan for the M/V Aiviq is also being developed to replace any contaminated fuel.  A work group is preparing a Place of Refuge Plan to address the issues associated with towing the drill rig to a sheltered location (Marmot Bay is currently proposed as the potential place of refuge).  The issues addressed include sensitive area protection and operational issues associated with anchoring the vessel at that location.

RESOURCES AFFECTED:  None at this time.  The Incident Management Team has identified the resources that may be at risk from a potential grounding of the drilling rig and the resources at risk along the tow route.

Future Plans and Recommendations:  Continue supporting the on-scene towing effort and develop supporting plans to prepare for other potential contingencies.

WEATHER:  Winds SW 38-45 kts, gusting to 50 kts. Seas 19-21 feet, with occasional 30 foot waves. Winds and seas decreasing by 9:00 p.m. tonight to S winds 23-30 kts, gusting to 40 kts, seas 14-16 feet, with occasional 23-ft waves.  Tomorrow morning (5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.), winds SE 13-20, gusts to 25 kts; seas 12-14 ft, with occasional waves to 20 ft. The next storm is expected at noon tomorrow, with E winds 35-40 kts, gusts to 50 kts, seas 17-19 ft, with occasional waves to 29 ft.  Winds and seas will be increasing thru tomorrow evening.

UNIFIED COMMAND AND PERSONNEL: 

Incident Commander:  Sean Churchfield, Shell    
SOSC: Steve Russell, ADEC
FOSC: Paul Mehler, USCG Sector Anchorage
LOSC: Jim Mullican, Deputy Fire Chief (Kodiak)      

TIME/DATE OF THE NEXT REPORT DISTRIBUTION:  1:00 p.m., December 31, 2012