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Shell gets a taste of what's to come in the Arctic
Published in:2013-03-27 10:42

      Shell's oil rig Discoverer has ran into new problems at the weekend after the vessel's anchor failed to hold and the 514-foot ship began drifting. The rig was only saved from hitting the nearby beach after tug boats were called to the Chukchi Sea to pull the rig out of trouble.

          Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis told the Los Angeles Times: "We don’t know exactly what happened yet. We do know that the vessel’s anchor didn’t hold, they began to drift, they let out more anchor chain to slow that drift and called for immediate tug assistance.

          Dutch Harbor boat captain Kristjan Laxfoss, who was out on the beach as the vessel neared it, said he had seen the vessel hit the ground. He added that there "was no question" the stern of the vessel was on the ground, saying the size of the ship and the soft landing could have impaired people's judgement of the event.

         According to Ms Francis, divers have now been called out to inspect any damage that may have occurred. Staff at the company will now look to discover what made the vessel come loose from its moorings. This is one of a number of problems that Shell has had to deal with as it prepares for its first offshore drilling in the Arctic in two decades.

         Coast Guard officials said the weather around the Discoverer was improving. Winds on Sunday were forecast to decrease to 11 miles per hour with seas of four feet and rain — a typical, balmy Dutch Harbor summer day.