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24 protesters detained after trying to stop Shell drill rig

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 09.05.3924 protesters detained after trying to stop Shell drill rig

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Protesters stand on a barge as they watch the Shell oil rig, the Polar Pioneer, depart from Terminal 5 early in the morning on Monday. (Sy Bean/AP)

By PHUONG LE, Associated Press: June 15, 2015

SEATTLE — The U.S. Coast Guard says it has detained two dozen protesters who tried to block Royal Dutch Shell’s drill rig as it left Seattle on its way to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

Lt. Dana Warr says the protesters violated the safety zone around the vessel Monday. He says they’ll be released after getting violation notices.

Warr says the Polar Pioneer rig departed around 6 a.m. with police and Coast Guard enforcing the safety zone.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Cassady Sharp says about a dozen “kayaktivists” paddled out around 4 a.m. and formed a blockade. She says 40 to 50 supporters in kayaks and canoes joined them.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says the rig is on its way to Alaska and the company remains “committed to operating in a safe, environmentally responsible manner.”

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