Two more Bellingham Shell protesters arrested

Two protesters who tied themselves to the anchor chain of a barge in Bellingham Bay were arrested Friday morning, June 12, according to the Coast Guard.

Sawyer Joy and Erika Osland had put up slings to hold themselves to the chain of the American Trader about 3:30 a.m. Friday. Shell has contracted that ship to support its Arctic drilling operations.

About 9:30 a.m. Bellingham police officers and the Coast Guard went out to the protesters. The two were taken aboard a Coast Guard response boat and arrested. The Coast Guard said it intends to pursue fines against them.

The protest was in part to call on President Obama to deny remaining permits for Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to drill in the American Arctic, according to a press release from protest organizers.

A similar protest May 22-24 on the Arctic Challenger in the bay resulted in four people facing fines for entering a safety zone around the ship. Five others got citations that carry about a $500 fine.

Fines for violating the 100-yard safety zone around moored or anchored Arctic drilling or support vessels can be up to $40,000 per violation.