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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

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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.