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SUMMARIES OF MAJOR  ACCIDENT REPORTS
(In event order)

THE KULLUK INCIDENT
December 2012
THE COSTA CONCORDIA
January 2012
THE TRINITY II
September 2011
THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
April 2010
THE BOURBON DOLPHIN
April 2007
THE STEVNS POWER
October 2003
THE OCEAN RANGER
February 1982
THE OCEAN EXPRESS
April 1976

PICTURE OF THE DAY
PIC OF THE DAY ARCHIVES
2007 - 77 Photographs
2008 - 101 Photographs
2009 - 124 Photographs
2010 - 118 Photographs
2011 - 100 Photographs
2012 - 97 Photographs

 

         

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THE KULLUK GROUNDING.

On 31st December 2012 the mobile drilling unit KULLUK grounded on a beach on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, with no injuries or loss of life. The event was investigated by the US Coast Guard and their report published in April 2014. The accident is of particular interest to those who develop emergency plans for the offshore industry since it may be the first loss of tow accident which has reached its conclusion, despite attempts at intervention.

The following is a summary of the report highlighting what, in the opinion of the reviewer, are the most important aspects of the accident.

The AIVIQ, the unfortunate main player in this accident, was selected to tow the KULLUK from Alaska to Seattle. Picture ECO Publicity.

THE VESSELS INVOLVED.

The KULLUK is a unique conical mobile drilling unit built for Beaufort in 1979 by Mitsui and laid up for many years prior to purchase by Shell for Alaskan drilling operations. It is operated on behalf of the oil company by Noble Drilling.

The AIVIQ is a heavy duty AHTS built at the Edison Chouest yard of North American Ship building and operated by that company. It is about 100 metres long, had 21000 bhp available and can exert a bollard pull of a little over 200 tonnes.

The GUARDSMAN is a traditional GOM tug, built in 1976 by McDermott, about 40 metres long. With 7200 bhp available and able to provide a bollard pull of about 75 tonnes. It is operated by Crowley Marine Services.

The ALERT is a modern 40 metre tug with twin Z drives providing 150 tonnes bollard pull from 10,000 bhp (Optimistic I think). It was built by Dakota Creek Industries and is operated by the Crowley management service.

NANUQ is a traditional AHTS built in 2007 by North American Fabricators. It is about 80 metres long with 7000 bhp providing 90 tonnes bollard pull. It is owned by Nautical Ventures which appears to be an ECO company.

The ALEX HALEY is what the Coastguard call an ‘Medium Endurance Cutter’ built in 1967 by Brooke Marine in Lowestoft. It has, surprisingly, a crew of 104, and its towing capabilities are limited to a ‘Towing Bit”.

THE TOWING PLAN.

It appears that Shell decided to move the rig to Seattle because there was considerable work required to bring the unit up to spec for the 2013 campaign. Additionally, although denied to start with by Shell management in Alaska, it was likely, had the rig been in Alaskan waters at the end of the year, that Shell would have been charged several million dollars in tax on the capital value of the unit.

It seems that a towing plan was developed for the operation, but not against any standards or procedures, and subsequently this plan was passed for review to the following Shell personnel: Alaska Operations Manager, Alaska Drilling Manager, Logistics Team Lead, Health Safety and Environmental Team Lead and Emergency Response Specialist and additionally the ORMI Tow Master, and the Noble personnel, the Rig Manager, the Operations Manager - Alaska and the GL Noble Denton warranty surveyor. Final approvers included the Alaska Venture Operations Manager, Alaska Well Delivery Manager, Alaska Logistics Team Lead, Alaska HSE Team Lead and the Alaska Marine Manager. All approvers were included as plan reviewers.

The Alaska Venture Operations Manager was considered the final approval authority but he was on holiday at the time, and so final approval lay with a deputy who had never reviewed a tow plan within Shell, had not participated in any of the planning meetings, and had not received any related training or even guidance about the process.

The final tow plan approval was received on December 21, 2012 which was the actual day of departure.

An aspect of the plan was that the route would proceed in a broadly Easterly direction maintaining a distance within 200 miles of the coast, so as to remain within helicopter range. This was as an alternative to a great circle route, which would have been shorter, and at a greater distance from the coast. The report details the possible weather for three possible routes and determined that it was likely to be pretty awful no matter which route was chosen.

The plan apparently took into consideration the previous towing records, which involved the AIVIQ, once from Seattle to Dutch Harbour, as sole towing vessel, but in June, and also considered the expected adverse weather in the Gulf of Alaska in winter. Although by now the reliability of the AIVIQ was, to say the least, questionable, it is not known whether any of the plan reviewers were aware of this.

The plan detailed possible emergency equipment, including the provision of an ‘standard insurance wire’ emergency retrieval system, five stevpris type anchors carried on the deck of the rig, and the provision of a tow chain retrieval hook, ‘referred to as an Orville Hook’ on the tow vessel (I had to look in the American Navy Towing Manual to find out what an Orville Hook was. It seems to be a J-hook hanging from a balloon).

The December towing plan apparently relied on a previous plan discussed in the summer which had involved people from Shell, Noble Drilling, Edison Chouest, Delmar Systems, Offshore Rig Movers International and MatthewsDaniel. And the report says that there was no evidence of any reassessment of the towing configuration, This, even though the KULLUK required 200 tons of bollard pull to hold it stationary in specific adverse conditions – which were likely to be met during this operation.

PREPARATION FOR THE TOW.

Because of subsequent events much space in the report is devoted to the change in the KULLUK towing configuration prior to its departure from Seattle in July 2012. This involved the substitution of the three 85t SWL shackles used in the monkey’s face (towing plate) connections with 120 t SWL shackles,. The concern to the investigator was the lack of information on the source and certification of these shackles, although it was not suggested that they were unsuitable. It seems that they just happened to be in store in the shipyard.

There were also changes to the length of the 76mm pennant used as what we have come to know in Europe as the ‘weak link’ although it is not identified as such in the report. This was lengthened from 40 ft to 100 ft to reduce the difficulties of connection. The ‘emergency tow wire’ was also not quite as specified, now including a 400 ft length of ‘Samson Saturn’ rope and the substitution of three 120 t SWL shackles for 85 t shackles – but one 85t shackles remained in this system. It was also provided with as significantly shorter chain. If nothing else the failure to reflect these changes in the actual plan shows a lack of attention to detail.

The report goes on to consider the readiness of the AIVIQ for the tow, and was able to identify many minor and fairly major failings in the ship’s equipment. These were stated in the report to be ‘a host of mechanical problems’. However the most serious item highlighted by the Master was that the ship was consistently taking water on the main deck, the main deck safe areas and in the winch space in adverse weather, in one case resulting in the vessel taking on a ‘sustained list’.

On 19th December the GL Noble Denton warranty surveyor inspected the AIVIQ and noted no deficiencies in the vessel. He also inspected the KULLUK and its towing arrangements, failing to notice that the 85t shackles for which the rig held certificates had been replaced by 120t shackles. The surveyor was present as the towing system was made up on the quayside, and related photographs are contained in the report. But the make-up did not result in any changes to the shackle connecting the towing plate to the weak link which had been in the same position since being fitted in Seattle.

THE TIMELINE OF THE ACCIDENT.

DECEMBER 21ST

1430. KULLUK under tow of AIVIQ departs Captains Bay bound for Seattle.

1600. Tow reaches open water and tow line extended to 1700 ft.

DECEMBER 22ND

The KULLUK Tow Master and the AIVIQ Master discuss the possibility of changing to a great circle, but the KULLUK is keen to keep within the range of SAR helicopters, and so the prepared route is maintained.

DECEMBER 25TH

AIVIQ No 2 main diesel engine develops an oil leak requiring monitoring and on occasion the shut down of the unit. The Master appraises Edison Chouest, the Tow Master and Shell of the situation.

On this day further discussion about routing takes place and the possibility of taking a more southerly route to avoid an approaching low pressure system is considered.

DECEMBER 27TH

AM. Wind SE 20-25 knots. AIVIQ’s winch control starts generating high tension alarms. More wire is paid out and apparently the vessel slowed, although later investigation was unable to determine that this took place. A video taken by one of the watch keepers at about 0900 shows the tension in the tow wire cycling between 35 tons and 228 tons.

Analysis carried out by Rolls Royce after the event determined that the overload alarm described as ‘wire tensile strength overload on tow drum’ occurred on 38 separate occasions. It would seem that the alarm would have been triggered had the load on the wire exceeded 300 tons. The watch keeper had no recollection of receiving these alarms.

1135. Loss of tow. Apparently due to the failure of the 120 ton shackle connecting the tow line to the monkey’s face. The KULLUK is adrift 52 miles from Sitkinak Island. The KULLUK recovers the towing plate and the AIVIQ recovers its tow wire. There is no sign of the shackle. The tug GUARDSMAN and the NANUQ (An AHTS but designated as an oil spill response vessel) notified to get under way. Coast Guard vessel ALEX HALEY instructed to proceed to assist.

1200+. It is decided to reconnect the tow using the emergency system, since the use of the KULLUK cranes in the adverse weather deemed to be inadvisable. AIVIQ approaching to pick up emergency tow line takes a roll and its J-Hook breaks loose and requires restowing.

1445. AIVIQ successfully reconnects to the emergency tow line. KULLUK towed away from an ‘8 fathom patch’ considered a danger due to the KULLUK draft of ‘10.7 metres’.

2255. The AIVIQ’s No 2 diesel is shut down for oil level checks and refuses to restart. And soon afterwards the engineers note that the injectors are failing on all engines.

DECEMBER 28TH

0131. Wind SW 25-30 knots. ALEX HALEY arrives on scene.

0245. All the main engines have shut down, so the AIVIQ is propelled by the 2600 bhp azimuthing thruster and directed by the tunnel thrusters, provided with power by the ship service generators. The ship is able to maintain station ahead of the tow but all are being pulled astern.

Subsequent to the loss of the main engines it is agreed between the Masters that the ALEX HALEY will try to take the AIVIQ (and therefore also the KULLUK) in tow. This process involves the firing of a line to the AIVIQ. The crew on the bow of the anchor-handler then attempt to recover a thicker messenger which is connected to the ALEX HALEY towing hawser. The Coastguard vessel has problems maintaining station and the crew mistakenly think that the process is more advanced than it is. They deploy the towing hawser too early, and this results in 800 ft of messenger line and part of the towing hawser being picked up by the Coast Guard ship’s port propeller.

0600. 5 injectors are replaced on No1 main diesel and it is successfully restarted. However the ship and tow are still being pulled astern.

1115. ALEX HALEY is instructed to depart for Kodiak for repairs.

1329. Tug GUARDSMAN arrives on the scene.

1538. The GUARDSMAN has the AIVIQ and therefore the KULLUK in tow. But the whole set is still being pulled slowly astern. The GUARDSMAN’s towing system is of course commensurate with its available bollard pull.

Late evening. KULLUK lowers its 15 tonne LWT anchor to a depth below the hull. The ships and the tow are now about 9 miles from the island. This emergency anchor is a 15 ton LWT connected to 900 ft of chain. There is much in the report about the timing and intent of the anchor deployment, but the reality is that it seems to have done no good.

2300. Wind SE 35-45 knots. Helicopters arrive on scene to attempt to evacuate the KULLUK, but due to the pitch and heave of the unit and the proximity of the derrick the attempt was abandoned.

At this time GUARDSMAN reports that they are still being set towards Sitkinak Island.

DECEMBER 29TH

0300-1000. Delivery of 74 new injectors in 12 lifts by Coast Guard helicopters to AIVIQ takes place.

0425. Tug ALERT departs from Port Etches near Valdez for the location.

0510. GUARDSMAN tow wire parts. Subsequent to this the emergency anchor deployed again and drags over the seabed without holding.

0630. NANUQ arrives on scene, and after daylight prepares to take the KULLUK under tow, connecting to the rig by using a line throwing apparatus.

1150. NANUQ has the rig under tow using No 8 anchor wire connected to its 64 mm tow wire. AIVIQ is still towing the rig, with its azimuthing thruster, on the emergency tow line.

1200. KULLUK emergency anchor recovered and the tow begins to make progress away from the island.

1235. Evacuation of the 18 rig crew by Coast Guard helicopter commences.

1335. Evacuation of the rig completed. Hence no further changes to the towing configuration are possible with intervention from the riding crew, and command on scene transferred from the Tow Master to the Master of the AIVIQ. All the AIVIQ main engines are now back on line.

Those in the ‘Unified Command Centre’ ashore might by now have been breathing a sigh of relief, but the operation was now threatened by worsening weather.

DECEMBER 30TH.

AM. Winds SSW 40-50 knots.

1315. NANUQ’s tow parts, and shortly thereafter the AIVIQ tow parts at the spliced eye of the emergency tow line. KULLUK adrift approximately 30 miles from land.

1325. Tug ALERT arrives at the scene, and initially is unable to connect to anything due to the clutter in the sea in the vicinity of the rig. To at least one reader of this report it seems that at last a proper professional vessel has arrived, and the subsequent intervention of the ALERT seem to support this view.

1630. It is decided that the AIVIQ will grapple for the No 8 anchor wire, now trailing on the seabed astern of the drifting rig, together with part of the NANUQ’s tow wire.

1915. The AIVIQ departs to sheltered waters to rig its grappling equipment – probably a grapnel (named as a grapple anchor).

DECEMBER 31ST.

0031. AIVIQ, with the grapnel over the stern departs sheltered water for the rig.

0110. ALERT successfully connects to the emergency towline by recovering the end to the deck and putting a bowline in it, and connecting it to their own towing gear. It starts to tow the rig away from the shore.

0357. AIVIQ, is back on the location and at 0445 successfully grapples the No 8 anchor wire. There is no sign of the NANUQ’s tow wire, or the connecting 150 ton SWL shackle.

0510. AIVIQ and ALERT now have the KULLUK under tow. They are proceeding towards Port Hobron a safe harbour on the Northeast side of Sitkalidak Island on instruction from the Unified Command. This would require a tow of approximately 74 miles.

1131. GUARDSMAN is released from the area with gearbox problems.

1336. Wind ESE 50+ knots. A four person salvage team is lowered onto the rig from a Coast Guard helicopter.

1448. Salvage team is recovered to the helicopter due to worsening weather.

1530-1600. The master of the ALERT reported that he was required to take evading action several times to avoid collision with the AIVIQ.

1600. The KULLUK begins to pull both vessels backwards towards Sitkalidak Island and so they increase power.

1624. Wind SE 40-50 knots. AIVIQ’s tow parts – at the 76mm weak link. The ALERT is now being pulled astern by the rig. By now the tug is attempting to influence where the rig will go aground. The AIVIQ Master considers that there are no other possible means by which the tow can be reconnected.

1815. The ALERT Master orders 100% power to influence the speed of drift of the KULLUK, but due to engine alarms has to reduce power to 85%.

2010. The ALERT releases the tow with the KULLUK 3 miles from the shore on instruction from the Unified Command, by spooling the tow wire off its drum..

2040. KULLUK grounds on a stretch of shoreline near Oceans Bay, Sitkalidad Island.

THE INVESTIGATOR’S COMMENTS (A SUMMARY)

The investigators considered numerous points regarding the incident, many of them concerned with the bollard pull required for the tow, which based on studies carried out over some years before the event would be 200 tons according to the tow plan. However those who planned the move from the beach onwards calculated that the required bollard pull would be 282 tons.

Additionally while those engaged in towing in the Gulf of Alaska were accustomed to allowing themselves to be pulled astern in adverse weather, the routing of the KULLUK to did not allow for this option.

The towing gear on the KULLUK also came in for some criticism, since it had not been specifically assessed in relation to the December tow. Of course the GL Noble Denton warranty surveyor did not assess the towing arrangements despite the fact that the contract between GL ND and Shell stated that the former was hired ‘to provide warranty survey and certificate of approval for the tow’.

Of course the 120 t SWL shackle which was the source of the original loss of tow came in for considerable investigation without any real result as far as we are able to tell, other than the fact that it seemed to be what it purported to be. All the shackles and sample new shackles of the same make were tested to destruction after the event and it was concluded that the cyclic loading might have caused fatigue. A further section compares the shackles provided with the possible requirements determined for this type of tow in the ‘US Navy Towing Manual’, and as we might expect they were found to be less than adequate, although one might note that the 85 T SWL shackle which remained in the emergency towing system did not fail.

Then there was some discussion about the ‘dynamic loads’, essentially the prevention of shock loading, and although they have not been detailed in this summary there were various lengths of chain in the towing systems which were intended to reduce shock loading by means of enhancing the catenary effect. There was some discussion about ‘stretchers’ although none were used. The report considers that the watch keepers did not take appropriate action to reduce the shock loading on the tow. On the other hand the company had not provided any guidance for towing. Nor had the Captain of the AIVIQ issued any specific instructions about conducting the tow.

There is a review of the competence of the ship’s deck officers, none of whom had worked in Alaskan waters during the winter. The watch keepers were divided into two groups each consisting one a regular mate and a 3rd Mate ‘Anchor Captain’ . Each group worked for 12 hours at a stretch (Illegal apparently in US ships) with the Captain being on days. The report concludes that the watch keepers did not take appropriate action to reduce the fluctuations in tension in the towing system on December 27th.

The AIVIQ’s general condition came in for investigation and it was found that there had previously been an complete blackout and an engine failure while towing on a previous occasion, and that some modifications were recommended by the ship’s crew mainly dealing with the ingress of water onto the working deck, into the winch houses and into the safe areas. Specifically the installation of doors for the safe deck area and the raising of the tank vents had not been carried out prior to the departure for Seattle. Some of the failures were required by law to be reported to the Coast Guard but this had not been done.

After the casualty an engineering investigation was carried out and it was determined that probably the fuel injectors had been degraded over time and that therefore it was probable that there had been water in the fuel in the past. A petroleum test by DNV determined that there was 0.5% fuel in the port day tank, and the engine manufacturers specified a maximum water content of 0.05%.

The report contains a detailed description of the fuel system, which is provided with four vents terminating 30” above main deck level. These vents allowed water from the main deck to enter the overflow tank and to quote the report “The circuit breaker for the fuel oil overflow tank alarm had been secured for unexplained reasons some time after midnight on December 26th”. Once the overflow tank was full it was possible for all tanks to be contaminated, including the day tanks. The Chief Engineer did not apparently realize this, even though his maintenance report suggested that the deck vents needed fixing.

Also the ship was provided with a DPII system and the FMEA for it had required that each engine be provided with fuel from a different day tank. The configuration used was to provide fuel for 2 engines from one tank and 2 from another.

The report goes on to discuss the weather at some length. Well, what the people planning the tow should have read was the short statement about the weather in the Alaska Pilot book. It is contained in the report and is reproduced here:

The Aleutian Low looms over the North Pacific as a climatic warning to mariners navigating the Alaskan waters. This semi-permanent feature is made up of the day-to-day storms that traverse these seas in a seemingly endless procession. With these storms come rain, sleet, snow, the howling winds and the mountainous seas that make the northern Gulf of Alaska and the southern Bering Sea among the most treacherous winter waters in the Northern Hemisphere.

The report considers the limitations of the vessels called to support the emergency and then goes into conclusions most of which can be gathered from what has been written here.

RECOMMENDATIONS.

The report them makes recommendations, several of which determine that the Coast Guard should have a greater oversight of towing activities, both in Alaskan waters and generally.

It also suggests that Shell should do better in terms of policies and procedures and criteria for towing operations, and that Edison Chouest should put in place towing procedures as part of its safety management system and develop training processes for masters and mates and finally that the engineering deficiencies of the AIVIQ should be fixed.

COMMENDATIONS.

Unusually the investigators commend almost everyone actively involved in the accident, mostly for their skill and resourcefulness.

THE REVIEWER’S COMMENTS

For some reason the timings in the executive summary are not the same as those in the main body of the report. Also all names have been redacted from the report, except for the name of the investigator and the Coast Guard Rear-Admirals.

It is likely that the multiple reviewers of the towing plan were relying on some-one else to identify the deficiencies, if there were any, and were probably unaware that the AIVIQ was deficient in a number of respects. But there is no doubt that some-one should have checked out the weather, the required bollard pull, the available bollard pull and the towing systems. And here we should remember that the towing plan still showed 85 ton shackles in the system.

And now we come to the main player in the whole event, the AIVIQ. The ship itself looks more like a wedding cake than an offshore vessel, and some might consider it to be little more than a vanity project, looking sleek on the outside but with only 208 tons bollard pull available from 21000 bhp. and virtually no freeboard aft. At the christening ceremony some-one from Chouest is quoted as saying that it began as a drawing on the back of a piece of paper. Well who would have thought it. Anyone surprised by this statement might have a look at the spec of the conventional anchor-handler ‘Olympic Hercules’ which has 270 tons bollard pull available from 23000 bhp. It was built by Ulsteins in 2002. Current heavy duty anchor-handlers built in Europe are often provided with more than 30,000 bhp.

It is possible that at least some of the problems related to the manner in which the AIVIQ was being operated. It appears from the photographs in the report, and virtually all photographs on the internet that the ship’s roller is partially submerged at all times, giving a freeboard of maybe 3 feet, or 1 metre. This situation has not been commented on, so it is not known whether it is a requirement to maintain stability or GOM custom and practice, continued in error. On a ship of these vast dimensions a freeboard of maybe 3 metres should be possible, if no underdeck drilling supplies are being carried. More freeboard would have resulted in less, or no, water in the fuel.

The towing equipment got a lot of space in the report, particularly after the loss of the 120 ton shackle from the towing plate. Of course this resulted in the weak link, which is only included so that it will break if the system is stressed and the rig can then recover the towing bridle, becoming part of the AIVIQ’s system and it remained part of it even when it was no longer required. There is a lot of stuff about percentages of proof load for shackles included in towing systems, but this may only be because large shackles are sometimes too big to go through the eyes of telurit splices, and therefore the wires should be differently terminated or else Baldt or Kenter links used. I don’t think we were told how the AIVIQ’s wire was terminated, but the weak link was fitted with a spelter socket. As far as shackles go, surely it is the bigger the better, or even better use a Kenter link.

After the first loss of the tow everything else was a contingency measure. Some of these measures worked quite well, and some were ineffective.

The emergency towing system was effective. The AIVIQ managed to pick it up OK and connect up, and it was only the failure of the main engines which then gave major problems. It might then have been fortunate that the thrusters, including the 2600 bhp azimuthing thruster were powered by the service generators.

The first vessel to attempt to assist was the USCGC ALEX HALEY, built in 1967 with 7000 bhp available and 104 people on board. It attempted, unwisely in my view to take the AIVIQ in tow, in adverse weather in the middle of the night. This was an act of bravado, and the simplest calculation would have determined that even if the connection had been successful, the ship would have had little effect. It was fortunate that the failure only resulted in the loss of one of the Coast Guard cutter’s propellers. Worst case, either ship could have been holed or both the screws of the Coast Guard vessel and the azimuthing thruster of the AIVIQ put out of action. The consequences do not bear thinking about.

The GUARDSMAN did quite a bit to stabilize the situation, considering the age and dimensions of the vessel, and the NANUQ also operated successfully within its capabilities, and for a while things seemed to be going well. Was it a good idea for the onshore team to instruct the vessels to take the rig to the nearest safe harbour? It is difficult to tell. Instinct would suggest that the primary objective should have been to gain more sea room, but if the weather was never going to get any better would there have been any point? But looking at the weather charts included in the report there might have been an opportunity for the tow to gain sea room on 28th December but of course the tow was not re-established until 29th.

When the ALERT joined the fray it was like the arrival of the cavalry in a 1950s western. It bustled about and got on with the job, and there is every chance that if the guys on the AIVIQ had removed the weak link from their towing system the situation would have been saved. Some might say that it is easy to pontificate about this in hindsight, and it is, but the point is that many opportunities to prevent the problem from occurring at all were presented but ignored, and in addition quite a few opportunities for recovery were also presented, but due to poor advice or lack of equipment these were missed.

The investigation raises the point that the whole process was not subject to sufficient risk assessment, and if it had been everything should have been different. But even without any of that there are a few things which stand out. The investigation points out that the emergency mooring system could have been deployed before the rig was abandoned, or even when the salvage team was briefly on board. A 15 ton LWT with 900 ft of chain might have held the rig off the beach. The NANUQ gave up when its tow wire failed, but it was an anchor-handler and had been used as lead tug on a previous tow. Did it not have a spare tow wire? The ALERT was not mobilized until 29th December, so up to that moment the vessel most capable of assisting with the recovery was ignored. And maybe there were other equally suitable craft out there which could have been hired. We don’t know.

These questions lead to consideration of the make-up of the Shell Incident Management Team, whose first actions according to the report were to locate possible assistance towing vessels, hence it was they who sent out the GUARDSMAN and the NANUQ. This was not too much of a stretch, since both vessels were probably on hire to the company . On 28th December the Shell team was enhanced to become a Unified Command structure, according to the report to ‘co-ordinate vessel response and potential oil recovery operations’. This group apparently consisted of representation from Coast Guard, Shell, Edison Chouest, Noble Drilling, State of Alaska and Kodiak Borough. Was there a towing expert amongst this large group? We do not know.

What we do know is that everyone involved in this misfortune will have learnt some lessons, and the rest of us have the opportunity of learning from their experience. The full report is available on the USCG website HOMEPORT.





The KULLUK on the beach. USCG Photo.

Victor Gibson. April 2014.


 TO RETURN TO FEATURES INDEX CLICK HERE

 
 
FEATURES

THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
Deepwater Horizon -The President's Report
Deepwater Horizon - The Progess of the Event

OTHER ACCIDENTS
The KULLUK Grounding
The Costa Concordia Report
The Costa Concordia Grounding
The Elgin Gas Leak
The Loss of the Normand Rough
The Bourbon Dolphin Accident
The Loss of the Stevns Power
Another Marine Disaster
Something About the P36
The Cormorant Alpha Accident
The Ocean Ranger Disaster
The Loss of the Ocean Express

OPERATIONS
The Life of the Oil Mariner
Offshore Technology and the Kursk
The Sovereign Explorer and the Black Marlin

SAFETY
Safety Case and SEMS
Practical Safety Case Development
Preventing Fires and Explosions Offshore
The ALARP Demonstration
PFEER, DCR and Verification
PFEER and the Dacon Scoop
Human Error and Heavy Weather Damage
Lifeboats & Offshore Installations
More about PFEER
The Offshore Safety Regime - Fit for the Next Decade
The Safety Case and its Future
Jigsaw
Collision Risk Management
Shuttle Tanker Collisions
A Good Prospect of Recovery

TECHNICAL
The History of the UT 704
The Peterhead Connection
Goodbye Kiss
Uses for New Ships
Supporting Deepwater Drilling
Jack-up Moving - An Overview
Seismic Surveying
Breaking the Ice
Tank Cleaning and the Environment
More about Mud Tank Cleaning
Datatrac
Tank Cleaning in 2004
Glossary of Terms

CREATIVE WRITING
An Unusual Investigation
Gaia and Oil Pollution
The True Price of Oil
Icebergs and Anchor-Handlers
Atlantic SOS
The Greatest Influence
How It Used to Be
Homemade Pizza
Goodbye Far Turbot
The Ship Manager
Running Aground
A Cook's Tale
Navigating the Channel
The Captain's Letter

GENERAL INTEREST
The Sealaunch Project
Ghost Ships of Hartlepool
Beam Him Up Scotty
Q790
The Bilbao OSV Conference