Coast Guard assists tug and tow in Gulf of Alaska
December 29, 2012
The crew of the Aiviq reported that they were able to restart one of the ships engines and is currently awaiting assistance from the crews of the response vessels Guardsman and the Nanuq, which departed Seward and are expected on-scene early Friday afternoon.
The Alviq is an American icebreaking anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) owned by Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). The $200 million vessel was built in 2012. She has been chartered by Shell Oil to support oil exploration and drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The primary task of the vessel is towing and laying anchors for drilling rigs, but she is also equipped for oil spill response.
According to Wikipedia, the Aiviq is said to be the world's largest and most powerful anchor-handling icebreaker. Shell invited Inupiak schoolchildren to submit essays suggesting names for the vessel. 12 year old Elizabeth Itta submitted the winning essay, describing how the Walrus, "Alviq" in the Inupiak language, use their tusks to break ice.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley is currently on scene and monitoring the situation.
“Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the personnel aboard the Aiviq and Kulluk,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We are working closely with industry representatives to provide assistance and to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”
Weather on scene has been reported as 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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