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The Coast Guard reports that a Royal Dutch Shell tugboat, the MV Aiviq experienced “multiple engine failures” today while towing a mobile oil drilling unit in the Gulf of Alaska south of Kodiak Island.

The tug crew was able to restart one of the engines.  In a statement released this morning, the Coast Guard said the tug crew is awaiting assistance amid 20-foot seas  from two response vessels that departed from the south central  Alaska port of Seward which are expected to arrive on scene this afternoon.

“Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the personnel aboard the Aiviq and Kulluk,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We are working closely with industry representatives to provide assistance and to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

The Kulluk was refurbished in Seattle, and was used this year as part of Shell’s exploratory drilling effort  off Alaska’s North Slope.