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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 9:44 am | Fair 53º


Size Estimate of Offshore Oil Spill From Platform A Increases

More than 1,400 gallons have spilled, two oiled birds are reported and the Coast Guard issues a safety alert.

The amount of oil estimated to have leaked into the ocean from Platform A on Monday has risen from 27 barrels on Monday to 34 barrels (1,428 gallons) as of Tuesday, and officials are not yet certain just how much oil is in the water.

“Part of our investigation will be to get a more accurate determination of the quantity,” California Department of Fish & Game spokeswoman Carol Singleton wrote in an e-mail to Noozhawk.

Four cleanup vessels from private contractor Clean Seas, six response vessels from the Fisherman’s Offshore Response Team and a private contractor, one 47-foot Coast Guard boat, two helicopters and about 70 people have been working in the cleanup area. Platform A is about six miles offshore from Carpinteria.

The spill occurred Sunday morning. The source was reported as a “finger-sized hole” above a pump on Platform A.

The unified command, made up of the California Department of Fish & Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the U.S. Coast Guard, Minerals Management Service and Platform A operator DCOR LLC, is using new technology to locate and recover the oil.

Contractors from Ocean Imaging on Tuesday flew over the site using a thermal imager and multispectral camera that produced maps showing the locations and thicknesses of the oil in the water, allowing nearby cleanup vessels to recover the oil more efficiently.

The Coast Guard has issued a safety broadcast for a five-mile radius around Platform Habitat, a Texaco-owned rig 3.5 miles southeast of Platform A. Mariners are advised to use caution and avoid the area if possible.

Meanwhile, two oiled birds have been reported, but they could not be captured. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network will continue to monitor the area for oiled animals. The spill has not reached shore.

To report sightings of oiled wildlife, call 877.UCD.OWCN or 877.823.6926.

Write to [email protected]

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