|Crowley tug Alert on Prince William Sound|
The Kulluk drilling vessel is under tow by the Aiviq and tug Alert. All three vessels are currently located about 19 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.
At approximately 12:45 a.m., Monday, Dec. 31, the Alert was able to secure the 400-foot line that was previously the tow line used by the Aiviq. The Alert successfully added tension to the line to test its ability to hold.
Later in the morning, the Aiviq also restored its connection to the Kulluk. Ensuring the safety of personnel and protecting the area's environment continue to be of the utmost importance. Difficult weather conditions are anticipated to continue over the next several days.
Unified Command is evaluating all potential options to further secure the vessel until the weather clears.Among other things, the Unified Command has asked for mobilization of a team from International Bird Rescue:
International Bird Rescue’s senior wildlife response team has been activated as a contingency measure after a tow pulling the drilling vessel Kullak stalled Thursday in stormy seas near Alaska’s Kodiak Island, prompting an evacuation of its 18-person crew.Here's the current weather pattern analysis for the Gulf of Alaska:
It seems difficult to predict how serious Tuesday's storm might be, but the low pressure system right over the emergency area looks formidable. Here's the current NOAA marine forecast for Kodiak waters:
WIND FORECASTS REFLECT THE PREDOMINANT SPEED AND DIRECTION EXPECTED. SEA FORECASTS REPRESENT AN AVERAGE OF THE HIGHEST ONE-THIRD OF THE COMBINED WIND WAVE AND SWELL HEIGHT.
Synopsis...A 967 MB PACIFIC WILL MOVE TO 215 NM S OF SITKINAK AT 959 MB MON AFTERNOON THEN WEAKEN TO 972 MB AND MOVE INLAND OVER SOUTHWEST ALASKA TUE AFTERNOON.
Today: SE wind 30 kt becoming E 50 kt in the afternoon. Seas 15 ft building to 20 ft in the afternoon. Rain.
Tonight: SE wind 55 kt. Seas 30 ft. Rain.
Tue: S wind 50 kt. Seas 28 ft subsiding to 23 ft in the afternoon. Rain.
Tue Night: S wind 35 kt. Seas 18 ft.
Wed: SE wind 40 kt. Seas 18 ft.
Thu: S wind 25 kt. Seas 15 ft.
Fri: S wind 30 kt. Seas 13 ft.Tonight looks like it will be another severe test of this group's emergency capabilities.