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No ‘recoverable sheen’ observed off the coast of Huntington Beach, officials say

A Saturday morning flight by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Huntington Beach showed “no recoverable sheen” in the water a day after a more than 2-mile long oil sheen prompted an investigation, according to a Saturday afternoon update.

Coast Guard officials performed two flights over the water, with the second taking place about 1:30 p.m., Petty Officer Richard Uranga said, adding that 30 people were sent out – three groups of 10 each – at 8 a.m. to conduct shoreline assessments and cleanup.

Just before 1:30 p.m., Coast Guard officials issued an update saying no sheen was spotted. Earlier in the morning, a spokesman said a “very thin sheen” was observed.

“Approximately 85% of the sheen, roughly 85 gallons of product, was recovered before the deteriorating sea state caused operations to pause for the evening,” Coast Guard officials said in a Friday evening statement.

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Huntington Beach officials late Saturday morning said no sheen was spotted “in the ocean or along our coastline” after conducting a flyover around 7:30 a.m. with a Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter.

Where the oil came from that led to the sheen was unknown as of Saturday morning and officials continued to investigate.

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The sheen was first reported just before 7 p.m. Thursday and the following morning, Coast Guard officials conducted a flight over the area and discovered the oil sheen approximately 2-and-a-half miles in length and a half-mile wide nearly 3 miles off the shore near two platforms, Emma and Eva.

Officials received a report that Platform Elly had discharged produced water Friday morning, but they do not believe that discharge and the sheen are related.

While at Dog Beach Friday, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said she came across dozens of tar balls, some the size of a palm and saw dogs with tar on their paws.

Clumps of tar were seen on the beach, among other debris, in Huntington Beach Saturday morning, but Foley in a Saturday afternoon update said tar balls had not been seen beyond Huntington Beach.

The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center on Saturday reported that three oiled birds, at least one of which was dead, were found Friday. Oil Spill Prevention and Response sent out a two-teamed animal collection team Saturday, Debbie McGuire, executive director of the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, said.

As of 10 a.m. Saturday, four live birds were in care with three of them visibly oiled, Coast Guard officials said. The fourth bird, an unoiled snowy plover, was found injured.

Anyone who comes across an oiled bird was asked to call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926.

A unified command consisted of the Coast Guard, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Coast Guard officials said.


Source: Orange County Register

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