Kayak protesters try to stop Shell offshore drilling rig in Seattle

Associated Press
Activists who oppose Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean prepare their kayaks for the "Paddle in Seattle" protest on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Seattle. The protesters gathered at a West Seattle park and then joined hundreds of others in Elliott Bay, next to the Port of Seattle Terminal 5, where Shell's Polar Pioneer drilling rig is docked. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
Copyright , The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Greenpeace says 13 protesters in kayaks formed a blockade to try to stop Royal Dutch Shell's drill rig from leaving Seattle on its way to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

Group spokeswoman Cassady Sharp says the Coast Guard has arrested several of the "kayaktivists" who paddled out to stop the Polar Pioneer early Monday. She says about 40 to 50 supporters in kayaks and canoes lined up behind the blockade.

The petroleum giant's plans to drill in waters off Alaska drew a similar protest in May. Activists also have chained themselves twice to a support ship north of Seattle.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says the company remains "committed to operating in a safe, environmentally responsible manner."

The Coast Guard didn't immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

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