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Alaska DEC

A salvage expert prepares to board a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter for a day assessing the Kulluk conical drilling unit near Kodiak, Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)

Officials close to towing grounded drilling rig

Salvagers are preparing to try pulling Shell’s grounded Arctic drilling rig from a rocky Alaskan island’s coast as soon as critical equipment arrives on the scene and weather permits _ possibly before the weekend’s end.