USCG starts civil action against Seattle anti-drillng protesters

Seattle: The US Coast Guard (USCG) has brought a civil case against some anti-drilling activists for allegedly violating a federally regulated safety zone during protests near Seattle in late May, it was revealed on Thursday.

Among the individuals in the USCG’s sights is the woman who chained herself to Shell’s contracted Arctic Challenger vessel for three days, Chiara D’Angelo, as well as some of her accomplices.

On April 28, the USCG established 100-yard safety zones around Arctic drilling and support vessels while moored or anchored in and around Seattle waters.

Shell was assembling its fleet for the planned resumption of oil exploration in the Arctic and had already attracted huge amounts of negative attention from environmentalists. So action was expected.

There was also a 500-yard safety zone while vessels were transiting to ensure safe use of the waters by all users.

D’Angelo violated the no-go zone and stayed chained to the vessel in Bellingham Bay near Seattle from May 22-24 before the cold and the wet led her to surrender.

Coast Guard officials can seek a maximum civil penalty of $40,000 for each violation. The final penalty will be determined by the Coast Guard Hearing Office in Arlington, Virginia.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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