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Sunken Tanker Oil Leak Slows; Slick Breaking Up

September 27, 1987|Associated Press

SANTA BARBARA — The release of fuel oil from a sunken freighter slowed Saturday and heavy seas continued to break up the slick drifting off a marine wildlife sanctuary in the Channel Islands, officials said.

The Coast Guard kept its watch on the beaches of San Miguel Island for any landing of the oil, but dense fog continued to shroud the spill's movements from aerial observation.

The slick from the freighter Pac Baroness, which sank Monday after a collision with another freighter about 10 miles off Point Conception, was about 12 miles from San Miguel on Friday.

"The oil coming from the sinking site has fallen off dramatically," Petty Officer James MacPherson said. "There are no reports of it reaching land or any sea birds being affected. The high seas, with ocean swells up to 10 feet, are working on the slick like a washing machine to break it up into smaller patches."

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