Jones Act Attorneys Look at Drilling Ship Running Aground in Alaska

This video is a montage of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) rescue of crewmembers aboard THE KULLUK, a conical, Arctic-class drill ship weighing nearly 28,000 gross tons. Reuters reported that the ship owned by Shell Oil Company broke away from its tow lines on New Year’s Eve and ran aground just off Kodiak Island in Alaska. Winds were up to 60 miles an hour and Gulf of Alaska seas were up to 35 feet. There were three minor injuries in the incident, according to Reuters.

The Los Angeles Times reported that THE KULLUK was stuck in the monster seas after its tugboat’s engines failed. The ship sat without ability to move forward about 50 miles south of Kodiak. “You become at the mercy of the seas when you don’t have propulsion,” USCG Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley told the Times. “The boat is going to go where the seas push it.”

Reuters called the grounding of THE KULLUK “a blow to Shell’s $4.5 billion offshore program in Alaska.” Lois Epstein, Arctic program director for The Wilderness Society, told Reuters about some of the dangers of turning an already fragile region into a major new oil frontier. “Shell and its contractors are no match for Alaska’s weather and sea conditions either during drilling operations or during transit,” Epstein told Reuters in an email. “Shell’s costly drilling experiment in the Arctic Ocean needs to be stopped by the federal government or by Shell itself given the unacceptably high risks it poses to both humans and the environment.”

While employees on drilling jobsites are aware of many demanding environments, workers are still entitled to compensation if they sustain serious injuries. Latti & Anderson LLP represents injured seamen and workers on the water as well as families of maritime workers killed on the water. Our firm understanding of maritime law is necessary in order for victims to secure the compensation they need, and we represent clients from all over the world.

Additional information about injuries on the water can be found on our website. If you sustained serious injuries or a loved one was killed at sea, fill out the form on this page to have our attorneys review your case or contact our firm today at (800) 392-6072 to set up a free consultation.

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