News Summary: Storm halts salvage of drilling ship

Storm impeding probe, salvage of Shell oil drilling ship that grounded off Alaskan island

Associated Press

ROUGH SEAS: High seas and strong winds prevented crews from boarding an oil drilling ship to check for any damage after the large vessel went aground off an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Alaska. It was being towed to Seattle for maintenance last week when it separated from a towing vessel south of Kodiak Island.

CONTAINMENT: Federal on-scene response coordinator Capt. Paul Mehler said the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig is carrying about 143,000 gallons of diesel and about 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid, and appeared stable.

COMBINED EFFORT: A team of company, Coast Guard and local officials said they were mobilizing spill response equipment and preparing a plan in the event of a spill in the Partition Cove and Ocean Bay areas of the island. The area is home to at least two endangered species, as well as harbor seals, salmon, and sea lions.

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