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New Carissa, 1999
  PREPARATIONS CONTINUE TO TOW THE NEW CARISSA
  UNIFIED COMMAND CONFIRMS EARLIER REPORT OF VESSEL CONDITION
  HELICOPTER ACTIVITES UNDERWAY TO PREPARE FOR NEW CARISSA'S TOW TO SEA
  NUMBERS ESTABLISHED TO REPORT OILED WILDLIFE, RECEIVE CLEANUP TRAINING
  CREWS COMPLETE PREPARATIONS TO NEW TOWLINE, EXPECT TO MAKE CONNECTION TOMORROW
  ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BIRDS IMPACTED BY OIL FROM THE NEW CARISSA REPORTED
  CREWS EXPECT TO SPEND MORNING CONNECTING TUG AND BOW OF NEW CARISSA
  SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS SOUGHT BY THE UNIFIED COMMAND INDICATES OIL ON BEACHES MAY BE FROM NEW CARISSA
  BOW OF NEW CARISSA BEGINS TO TURN TOWARD SEA
  BOW OF NEW CARISSA FACING WEST
  EFFORTS TO REFLOAT BOW OF NEW CARISSA WILL CONTINUE EARLY TOMORROW MORNING
  REMAINING WESTERN SNOWY PLOVERS RELEASED FROM REHABILITATION IN COOS BAY
  BOW OF NEW CARISSA BEGINS TRIP TO SEA
  COMMERCIAL SHELLFISH HARVESTING AND RECREATIONAL CLAMMING REOPENED IN YAQUINA BAY
  BOW OF NEW CARISSA TRAVELS 40 MILES DURING FIRST DAY AT SEA
  TUG SEA VICTORY AND BOW OF NEW CARISSA MAKING GOOD PROGRESS
  NEW CARISSA MIDWAY TO FINAL RESTING PLACE
  BEACH CLEAN UP EFFORTS CONTINUE
  UNIFIED COMMAND BEGINS IMPLEMENTING PLAN FOR STERN OF NEW CARISSA
  OFFICIALS DECIDE ON PLAN FOR SINKING BOW OF NEW CARISSA
  NAVY DESTROYER DAVID R. RAY ARRIVES AT SINKING SITE
  BOW OF NEW CARISSA SINKS TO RESTING SITE
  OIL SKIMMER OREGON RESPONDER DOES NOT FIND OIL AFTER BOW OF NEW CARISSA SINKS
  OVERFLIGHT OF NEW CARISSA RESTING SITE FINDS VERY LITTLE OIL

SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS SOUGHT BY THE UNIFIED COMMAND INDICATES OIL ON BEACHES MAY BE FROM NEW CARISSA

More conclusive tests will be available early next week

Waldport, Ore., March 6, 1999 1800 hours

The Unified Command announced today initial results on tests of tarball samples from beaches in northern Oregon and southern Washington match the oil from the New Carissa, and officials believe it may be from the initial breakup of the ship in early February in Coos Bay.

Preliminary results from the samples sent to the Department of Ecology and EPA lab in Manchester, Washington from birds collected on Long Beach Peninsula show a 90 percent chance the oil on the birds is from the New Carissa. The tarball samples taken from the beaches near Ocean Park, Wash., and Sunset Beach, Ore., are showing a 50 percent chance that the samples match the oil on the New Carissa, but the tests are not conclusive. Manchester Lab continues to run additional tests designed to show potential differences in the oil, and will have more conclusive results available early next week.

These tests were sought by the Unified Command to determine the trajectory and possible impact of any oil coming from the New Carissa.

One of the samples of birds provided to the laboratory came from a Waldport man who brought several oiled, deceased birds to the Command Center. At first, the consistency of oil appeared to be different from what has been observed on other birds. The difference may be attributed to the oil laying offshore for several weeks before affecting these specific birds. The Unified Command was initially skeptical of the oil matching but committed to have tests conducted and the results published.

"It is not unreasonable to think that the oil came from the New Carissa. Based upon trajectory models from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration the oil would have followed a northerly route due to ocean currents and wind directions," said Mike Szerlog of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and a member of the Unified Command. "It's possible that the oil from the ship when it broke apart in Coos Bay floated out to sea. The fierce storm last Tuesday night may have accelerated the beaching of the oil."

Szerlog said that after the bow of the New Carissa was examined for the first time, the Unified Command was able to determine that about 200,000 to 250,000 gallons of oil burned, and about 70,000 gallons of oil had spilled from the ship. However, only 10,000 to 15,000 of that spilled oil showed up on the beaches near Coos Bay where the ship originally washed up and they were unable to account for the other 55,000 to 60,000 gallons. "With this new information, it is conceivable that the oil showing up on the beach is the oil that was previously unaccounted for," he said.

The Unified Command emphasized that more than 100 people have been cleaning the beaches north and south of the vessel daily, and 103 cubic yards of waste have been collected since the ship landed in Waldport. "We will continue to do everything we can to minimize the environmental threat to Oregon's beaches," said Szerlog. "Clean up crews will respond immediately to any reports of oil and biologists will continue to survey and rehabilitate any wildlife that are affected."



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