Friday, February 22, 2013

Foss, Crowley Tugs Collide Off Kodiak Island

Foss Maritime tug Corbin Foss and Crowley Maritime tug Ocean Wave recently collided in Kiliuda Bay off the coast of Alaska, according to the US Coast Guard.

According to Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley, the vessels were “maneuvering in close proximity” to one another in Kiliuda Bay off Kodiak Island Feb. 15, when the Corbin Foss accidentally struck the Ocean Wave at about 5:30 pm.

There were no injuries reported as a result of the collision and the Ocean Wave only suffered minor damage, according to the Coast Guard. The vessels subsequently headed to Kodiak for a Coast Guard inspection. Mosley says no Coast Guard assets headed to the scene because the crash was a non-injury collision.

The colliding vessels are two of the three that are expected to tow a damaged Shell drilling rig, Kulluk, to Dutch Harbor. The rig ran aground Dec. 31 near Kodiak Island as it was being towed to Seattle for maintenance and broke free in a storm. It was refloated and taken to a sheltered harbor, where it has been ever since.

The USCG says the Kulluk, which was taken to Kiliuda Bay roughly a week after its grounding off Sitkalidak Island, was not under tow at the time of the collision.

The command overseeing the response to the Kulluk’s grounding had announced in a Feb. 13 statement that the rig would be towed on a 10-day trip to Dutch Harbor, where it would be placed into a special dock and taken on to Asia for repairs.

Poor weather has delayed the Kulluk from being towed to Dutch Harbor, according to Shell.

The Ocean Wave, the Corbin Foss and another Foss vessel, the Lauren Foss, are slated to conduct the Dutch Harbor tow. Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith says the company doesn’t anticipate the recent collision to result in additional delays to plans to move the Kulluk.