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Engine problems hit ship towing Shell drill ship

Dan Joling, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A relief tugboat has reached a disabled vessel towing a Shell Oil drill ship 50 miles south of Alaska's Kodiak Island.

Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley says the Guardsman arrived at 2 p.m. and will assist the Aiviq (EYE-vik), a 360-foot anchor handler that had been towing the drill ship Kulluk (CULL'-uck).

Water in fuel may have caused the Aiviq's engines to fail.

The Aiviq has enough power to keep itself and the drill ship from drifting.

Mosley says the tow line between the vessels was temporarily lost and the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley attempted to establish a line to the Aiviq. That attempt failed and the line became wrapped around a cutter propellers.

The cutter was released from the scene when a Coast Guard aircraft arrived.