Drilling rig that ran aground after storm remains difficult to reach for rescue team
(MCT) — ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Shell’s drilling rig Kulluk, perched for a day on stony ground off the shore of a small island south of Kodiak, remained perilously out of reach Tuesday for a salvage team trying to learn its condition and that of tanks holding thousands of gallons of fuel and other hazardous liquids.
The wave-battered rig, whose cheery painted colors were in stark contrast to the mortal danger it was in, was stuck in some 30 to 40 feet of water after breaking loose from its towlines for the fifth and final time Monday night. Efforts to drop two salvage experts to its deck by Coast Guard helicopters were abandoned Tuesday because of impossible winds and the brutish waves, but emergency operations officials said they would try again Wednesday, when the weather was supposed to be somewhat more favorable though still challenging.
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