A Shell drilling rig ran aground on a small island in Alaska on Monday night. The Kulluk, a 266-foot conical barge, broke free of its lines on Thursday night while being towed back to Seattle. By Monday, after days of failed attempts to continue towing the rig and the evacuation of the rig’s crew, commanders were forced to disconnect the Kulluk from its final tow vessel, due to 70mph wind gusts and swells of up to 40 feet. The rig then hit the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island, south of Kodiak. The rig may be carrying up to 150,000 gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel and about 12,000 gallons of combined lube oil and hydraulic fluid that could start leaking, though a spokesperson said that there are so far no reports of discharge.
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