Jan 10 2013
Kulluk 'Unified Command' Face Kodiak Public
Thursday, 10 January 2013

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    Representatives from the “unified command,” which oversaw the recovery effort of the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk address the Kodiak community last night in the high school commons. Though the meeting was interrupted by a fire alarm that forced their evacuation for about 20 minutes, the public grilled the oil giant, Coast Guard and DEC about the event.
    Danny Stihl pointed out that the Kulluk grounding reminded many residents too much of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, which inundated many Kodiak beaches.

   Department of Environmental Conservation’s Steven Russell said many lessons were learned from EVOS, saying officials in the Kulluk incident got together almost immediately to form the unified command, which didn’t happen in 1989.
    After being pulled from the beach of Sitkalidak Island, the Kulluk was towed Monday to Kiliuda Bay, where the tanner crab fishery is scheduled to start next week. Russell said that was considered when the place of refuge was decided on.

   One fisherman pointed out the folly of sailing the 266-foot Kulluk from Dutch Harbor to Seattle in the dead of winter.

   After Shell’s Sean Churchfield said the company’s plan was adequate and they saw a weather window, Griffing followed up, but was interrupted and then cut off.
    Churchfield then defended the tow plan and said the failures would come out in the investigation.