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article imageWoman chains herself to ship in protest of drilling in Arctic

By Karen Graham     May 23, 2015 in Environment
Seattle - The "Shell No" protest is still active in Seattle, Washington today. The Coast Guard says it has no plans to remove a woman who chained herself to a Royal Dutch Shell ship last night in protest on the company's plans to start drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
The activist chained herself to the Arctic Challenger anchored in Bellingham Bay, north of Seattle Friday night. Police officials say they talked to the ship, port authorities and the woman Friday night.
There are no plans at this time to remove the woman. Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer said on Saturday morning the Coast Guard cutter Osprey spent last night monitoring the activist but has taken no action, says the Washington Times.
Shearer says authorities are concerned for the woman's safety as well as the safety of everyone involved. She says the Coast Guard has spoken to the protester, asking her to leave. The Shell support ship won't be leaving port for a few more days.
It has been reported that officials with Washington's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said protesters did some damage to Seattle's dive park while protesting Shell's plan to do some exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean last week.
DNR spokesperson Joe Smillie told local news station KIRO cement blocks, chains and cables were found by divers in the bay. The blocks, chains, and cables were used to anchor a large protest barge while kayakers were participating in the "Shell No" protest on May 16.
Smillie said the damage to the park was minimal and the protesters will not be fined. They will have to pay for the cost of cleanup. Smillie noted that Elliott Bay is a popular dive location because it's a habitat for octopus.
However, the DNR is requesting more information from Foss Maritime on their plans for the Polar Pioneer oil drilling rig. It is presently parked off the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5. This location is for temporary use only.
According to state law, the area where the rig is parked is a designated "highway" for navigation. Mooring in this location is allowed only when loading or unloading a ship. The DNR says, however, the rig may be violating the laws. "We've asked them for information for their plans, how long they plan to be there, and if they need a permit from us to be moored outside Terminal 5," Smillie said.
More about seattle washington, Royal dutch shell, arctic challenger, Coast guard, antiarctic protestors
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