Updates – USS Guardian Salvage Finally Underway, Shell 2013 Alaska Drilling Cancelled & Emma Mærsk in Repair Yard

Stack of USS Guardian hoisted by crane ship. Photo:PCG

Stack of USS Guardian hoisted by crane ship. Photo:PCG

Three quick updates on recent posts – the salvage of the USS Guardian is finally underway, Shell Oil has cancelled plans for Alaskan arctic drilling for 2013 due to rig problems; and the Emma Mærsk has arrived at a shipyard for repairs after engine room flooding in the Suez Canal.

After running aground on a reef in the Philippines’ Tubbataha National Marine Park on January 17, the salvage of the Navy minesweeper USS Guardian is finally underway. Crane ships will break the ship up in place.  The salvage was delayed by bad weather and the time required to assemble the salvage vessels. The Philippine Coast Guard has set a target deadline of March 23 for the removal of the ship.   Read more at – PCG confident of beating deadline for USS Guardian’s dismantling

Shell Oil has given up on drilling for oil in the Alaskan arctic for at least 2013.  We posted about the New Year’s Eve grounding of the Shell drilling rig Kulluk on the east coast of Sitkalidak Island in the Gulf of Alaska.  We also posted about the problems with Shell’s drill ship Noble Discoverer which was cited by the Coast Guard for significant failures with pollution control equipment and crew safety.  Reuters is reporting that U.S. federal prosecutors have now been asked to take legal action over safety and environmental violations discovered on Noble Discoverer.  Both ships will be taken to yards in Asia for repairs.

At the beginning of February we posted about the 14,700 TEU container ship Emma Mærsk flooded her engine room and lost power at the northern end of the Suez Canal.  There was initial concern that the ship, one of the largest container ships in the world might sink and block the canal, but tugs were dispatched and ship was safely towed to a berth in Port Said.  The flooding which covered the engine room with 16 meters of water is believed to have been caused by damage to the port stern thruster.  The ship has now been towed to  Fincantieri Repair Yard in Palermo, Sicily where engine room repairs are expected to take roughly four months. ‘Emma Maersk’ in Palermo

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