The crew of Royal Dutch Shell’s second of two Arctic drilling rigs Noble Discoverer departed the Port of Everett, Wash., June 30, 2015, its final destination being Alaska.
Noble Discoverer was the last of three oil drilling and support vessels to depart western Washington for the Arctic this summer, the US Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard crews and local law enforcement personnel enforced a 500-yard safety zone around the vessel as it transited Puget Sound pushing through protesters in kayaks demonstrating against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans.
The kayaktivists who breached the safety zone were intercepted by the Coast Guard and police forces and taken ashore. However, nobody was arrested.
“Violating the safety zone, which was established to ensure the safety of everyone on the water, can lead to a notice of violation that includes a USD 500 fine,” the Coast Guard said.
Shell’s first Arctic drilling rig Polar Pioneer left Seattle on June 15th, also despite vehement protests from environmentalist groups.
Initial estimates indicate that Shell could begin drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week in July.
World Maritime News Staff; Images: US Coast Guard