ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The rig manager aboard a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling barge says a second tug could have prevented it from running aground in December off a remote Alaska island.
Todd Case was the offshore installation manager employed by Noble Drilling when the Kulluk (KUL'-uk) ran aground off a small island near Kodiak Island on a tow across the Gulf of Alaska toward Seattle.
Case in the third day of testimony before a Coast Guard investigation panel recounted how weather got progressively worse after the Kulluk departed Dec. 21 from Dutch Harbor.
The line between the towing vessel Aiviq (EYE-vik) and the Kulluk parted Dec. 27. Multiple attempts failed to maintain replacement lines.
Case says looking back, multiple tugs as part of the original towing plan could have prevented the grounding.