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Shell oil rig leaves Everett, kayaking protesters detained

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 09.41.05Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 08.30.03Shell oil rig leaves Everett, kayaking protesters detained

By Jennifer SullivanSeattle Times staff reporter: 30 June 2015

An oil-drilling rig that was protested by activists in kayaks pulled out of Everett early Tuesday morning, and some of the kayakers were detained by the Coast Guard.

Shell’s Noble Discoverer will join the Polar Pioneer to sink holes in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The Polar Pioneer drew the ire of protesters when it was moored at Terminal 5, in Seattle, before heading north earlier this month.

Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said they detained five kayakers off Mukilteo Tuesday morning. Warr said the rig pulled out of Everett at 4 a.m.

“They were inside the safety zone (the 500-yard zone around the rig). We asked them to leave and they didn’t. We detained them, brought their kayaks in and wrote notices of violation, which is a $500 penalty.”

Warr said the activists’ kayaks and other equipment were returned.

According to a news release from one protest group, the kayakers held “a 6-day vigil” in Everett “to mark the departure of the Noble Discoverer for Arctic waters.”

The protest group said that “about 20 kayaktivists paddled out to slow the rig down as it left.”

The vessel will sail to Dutch Harbor, a trip that could take about two weeks, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or [email protected]. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

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