Coast Guard to take testimony on Shell grounding

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Associated Press

Posted on May 19, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Updated Sunday, May 19 at 2:01 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Circumstances surrounding the grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill barge off a remote Alaska island will be explored in a public hearing in Anchorage.

The Coast Guard says a marine casualty investigation into the grounding of the Kulluk (CUL'-uk) will begin at noon Monday at the Loussac (LOO'-sak) Library and could last two weeks.

The Kulluk in late December was under tow and bound from Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands to a Seattle shipyard. It ran into rough Gulf of Alaska water.

It lost the connection to its towing vessel and ran aground off Sitkalidak (sit-kah-LEE-dak) Island on New Year's Eve.

Salvors floated the barge six days later, but damage to the ship played a role in Shell's decision not to drill in Arctic waters in 2013.

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