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DATE: December 29, 2012 5:16:00 PM AKST

For more information contact:
Unified Command Joint Information Center at (907) 433-3417
Update #6: 18 personnel on Kulluk safely evacuated, Aiviq’s 4 engines functioning

The Unified Command continues to respond to the incident with the tow vessel Aiviq and the conical drill unit Kulluk south of Kodiak Saturday.

All 18 personnel on board the Kulluk were safely evacuated by the U.S. Coast Guard to Kodiak.

The response vessel, the Nanuq, arrived on scene at 6:30 a.m. and is connected by tow line to the Kulluk and is assisting the Aiviq in keeping the rig stationary. Now that the crew have been safely evacuated, we will accelerate the speed of the southbound tow to create even more margin between the vessels and land.

All four of the Aiviq’s main engines are functioning.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and a local representative from Kodiak Borough have joined the Unified Command structure.

“The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is dedicated to working within Unified Command. The priorities continue to be the safety of the crew and those responding, as well as to the protection of the environment,” said Steve Russell, state on scene coordinator, ADEC.

“At the request of the Unified Command, Coast Guard H60 helicopter crews safely removed all crewmembers from the Kulluk,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “With the crew safe, we can now focus on ensuring the safety of the response crews and of the Kulluk.”

“Shell is pleased with the collaborative effort which resulted in the safe evacuation of the personnel on the Kulluk and remains focused on the safety of the remaining vessel personnel and the environment. We continue to work with the U.S. Coast Guard, Edison Chouest Offshore, State of Alaska and the Borough of Kodiak,” said Buddy Custard, Incident Commander, Shell.

Media inquiries should be directed to the Joint Information Center 907-433-3417.

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