Cordova Times: Unified Command briefs Murkowski on drill rig mishap

The Unified Commend overseeing salvage operations of a marine drill rig aground on an uninhabited island south of Kodiak said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, received a thorough briefing on the incident on Jan. 1.

In a statement issued early on Jan. 2, the Unified Command said Murkowski was advised that the safety of its personnel and protecting the environment were top priorities. The senator was briefed on the full response effort including challenges endured by responders to stabilize the drill rig Kulluk in severe storm conditions.

"Senator Murkowski shares the coast Guard desire to protect the pristine Alaskan environment and response personnel," said Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo. "Everyone involved in the response effort has the same objective, to safely recover the Kulluk without injuries or impact to the environment. So far, response personnel have demonstrated great resourcefulness and adaptability to the weather and other challenges in a very difficult operation."

Steve Russell, state on scene coordinator for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said Murkowski's visit to the command post was encouraging to response personnel and their efforts to resolve the incident.

The unified Command consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Nobel Drilling Contractor and Royal Dutch Shell.


The Unified Command is working closely with other federal, state and local agencies and tribal partners as well.


Source: By Cordova Times Staff