Here is a short video released late Saturday by the U.S. Coast Guard, showing part of the helicopter rescue of crewmen from the drilling platform Kulluk. The rig has been imperiled by multiple simultaneous engine failures aboard the oceangoing tug Aiviq, which was towing the rig from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Puget Sound, for modifications, repairs and winter berthing.
Shown in the video are the Kulluk – the round vessel with a tall central tower, the Nanuq – the long, slender vessel, and the Aiviq – the vessel with the helicopter platform over its bow.  The tug Guardsman, not shown in the video, is plotted on as being close by.  All four vessels haven’t moved much since they grouped together yesterday morning. Rather than get close to the shore and seek shelter from the ongoing major winter storm, as they had planned yesterday, they have decided to put as many miles as possible between the rig and the rocks.
Here’s from an Alaska news report:
“It’s precautionary measure. They weren’t in any immediate danger,” Mosley said. “As this continued to unfold, they just wanted to mitigate any potential issues with that crew onboard.”
Coast Guard helicopters were also able to deliver a ton of engine parts and technicians to the Aiviq, and the ship’s crew had two of its four engines up and running by Saturday morning, Shell said.
What started as 20-foot seas and 40 mph wind built to 35-foot seas and gusts to more than 50 mph, the Coast Guard said.
The weather and the combined weight of the Kulluk and Aiviq were too much for the tugboat Guardsman, which was unable to stop the vessels from drifting. By 5:30 a.m. Saturday, its towline had also broken free, the Coast Guard said. Saturday morning, the Kulluk was about 27 miles from the Trinity Islands and drifting at a rate that would have had it hitting the islands in as little as 12 hours, Mosley told the Associated Press.
“We don’t want it to go aground,” he said. “When a vessel goes aground, it’s directly played upon by the waves hitting it and having it hit something solid.”
In what Shell spokesman Curtis Smith described as “cascading assets into the theater,” another Shell-contracted ship, the Nanuq, had been sent from Seward at the first sign of trouble. It arrived Saturday morning. The Aiviq soon had all four of its engines running, and with the Nanuq’s help, was towing the Kulluk farther out to sea to the southeast late Saturday, Smith said. The plan was to avoid more bad weather and the worst-case scenario that the vessels could again drift toward land, he said.