Coast Guard releases video of grounded Arctic rig

The Coast Guard has released a video of Royal Dutch Shell’s beached Kulluk drilling rig, on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska. The footage was shot Wednesday as a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter delivered an emergency towing system to the salvage team on deck.

The Kulluk drilling rig ran aground Monday night near Alaska’s Kodiak Island after a five-day fight to tow the vessel through a fierce storm and 70-mph winds. Officials say there is no evidence of a spill.

On Wednesday, the five-member Coast Guard salvage team conducted a three-hour structural assessment and develop a plan for freeing the grounded vessel. Today, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. and the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, took public aim at the Coast Guard and Shell. He questioned whether they had an adequate contingency plan in place to deal with such accidents.

Read the Chronicle’s ongoing coverage of the Kulluk rig incident: