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Kulluk Tow Incident SITREP 4


Division of Spill Prevention and Response
Prevention and Emergency Response Program


Kulluk Tow Incident


SPILL #: 12249936201

TIME/DATE OF DISTRIBUTION: 4 p.m., January 1, 2013

POTENTIAL RESPONSIBLE PARTY (PRP): Shell Exploration and Production Company

INCIDENT LOCATION: The CDU conical drilling unit Kulluk grounded at a location between the north end of Ocean Bay and Partition Cove on Sitkalidak Island. The location of the grounded vessel is Lat 57⁰ 5' 28.099N, Long 153⁰ 6' 23.546W.

TIME/DATE OF SPILL: The CDU Kulluk grounded at 8:48 p.m., December 31. During the over flight this morning no evidence of oil spill was observed. The M/V Aiviq and the tug Alert lost their tow of the CDU Kulluk on December 31. The M/V Aiviq lost its tow shortly after 4:30 p.m. while the tug Alert experienced severe engine
problems which impacted the towing operation. The towline was released at approximately 8:10 p.m. due to safety concerns. The CDU Kulluk subsequently drifted and went aground at the above location.

HOW/WHEN SPILL WAS DISCOVERED: At the time of the grounding, the CDU Kulluk was currently carrying 136,240 gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and 10,242 gallons of various lubes and oils.

TYPE/AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED: The over flight at 9:30 a.m. today reported no visible signs of pollution or debris in the area of the grounding.

CAUSE OF SPILL: The CDU Kulluk went aground after the towlines between the vessel and the two tow vessels parted.

SOURCE CONTROL: Unknown at this time.

RESPONSE ACTION: The Unified Command continues to mobilize spill response equipment and is modifying the spill response plan to the specific areas of Partition Cove and Ocean Bay in the event of a discharge. A staging area has been established at the City of Kodiak Harbor. Spill responders remain mobilized and will be deployed as soon as conditions allow if necessary. A Coast Guard C‐130 over flight was completed at approximately 10 a.m., January 1, 2013. The C‐130 crew reported the Kulluk currently remains in an upright position and is grounded in the same general location as reported on December 31. The crew reports that there was no visible sign of an oil spill or of debris from Kulluk.

RESOURCES AFFECTED: The shorelines of Partition Cove on Sitkalidak Island are primarily comprised of mixed sand and gravel beaches. Several anadromous streams are also in the general area. There have been two Ocean Bay/Partition Cove, Kodiak Islandlocations identified where measures can be taken to protect two known salmon streams in the immediate area.locations identified where measures can be taken to protect two known salmon streams in the immediate area. Harbor seal concentrations are present in MacDonald Lagoon. Overwintering waterfowl, shorebirds, other bird species may be present. Steller’s eiders are potentially present in the nearshore waters. Steller’s eiders are an Endangered Species Act (ESA)‐listed species. Partition Cove is within designated critical habitat for the ESA‐listed
Southwest sea otter population. Steller sea lions may be present in the area. Partition Cove is within designated critical habitat for the Steller sea lion.

FUTURE PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The Unified Command is now entering the salvage and potential spill response phase. Spill responders and equipment are currently mobilized and will implement spill response operations as soon as weather permits, if necessary. The condition of the Kulluk is being evaluated to determine
access for a salvage team. The salvage team will be assessing the Kulluk’s tanks, conditions of machinery, operational status of primary motors and general deck condition. The team will not be conducting an extended inspection due to the instability of the Kulluk.

WEATHER: Currently, SE winds 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots; seas 11 to 15 feet, with occasional wave heights of 20 feet. Tomorrow winds less than 18 to 29 knots, gusting to 40 knots, seas 11 – 12 feet, occasional wave heights of 18 feet.

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


Location of the Grounded Vessel


FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannon Miller, Public Information Officer, (907) 269‐7684 or Ty Keltner, Public Information Officer, ADEC (907) 388‐8822. To contact the Joint Information Center, please call (907) 433‐3417, or visit the following website for additional information:
http://dec.alaska.gov/spar/aiviq Or https://www.kullukresponse.com