SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard continued its investigation Wednesday into the cause of two reported sheens near San Diego.
Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach and Coast Guard Sector San Diego personnel received reports of two sheens in the Pacific Ocean Saturday, one near Point Loma and one near San Clemente Island.
The first sheen, located approximately 11 miles northwest of Point Loma, was reported at approximately 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Point Loma sheen was reported to be approximately three miles in length and a half mile in width. A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk Medium-Range Recovery Helicopter aircrew was dispatched to survey the area and verified a sheen was present at that time. Coast Guard pollution response personnel reported that the fuel causing the sheen was unrecoverable and would dissipate naturally.
At approximately 11:50 a.m. Saturday, a second sheen was reported approximately 14 miles off San Clemente Island. Coast Guard Sector San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center watchstanders contacted a Navy vessel conducting training near the reported area to verify the sheen. Navy personnel reported no signs of sheening in or around San Clemente Island.
The Coast Guard conducted an overflight Tuesday afternoon to observe the conditions of the San Clemente sheen. No visible sheen was reported.
The sheen is suspected to have been caused by petroleum-based products such as light fuel or diesel fuel. In open air conditions, these products would normally dissipate within a day or less. The dissipation rate is further expedited by the 10-knot winds reported in that area over the past few days.
The Coast Guard has coordinated with the Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife since Saturday to investigate the cause of the sheen.
“The Coast Guard takes all reports of marine environmental pollution seriously,” said Lt. Ryan Szabo, the Sector San Diego Incident Management Division chief. “We thank all of the responsible citizens who reported these environmental concerns in a timely manner.”
The Coast Guard asks that mariners continue to provide any reports of marine environmental pollution to the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802, or the Joint Harbor Operations Center at (619) 278-7057.
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