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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

NEW CARISSA MIDWAY TO FINAL RESTING PLACE

Waldport, Ore., March 9, 1999 1930 hours

At 6:00 p.m. today, the tug Sea Victory was about 147 miles, or 127 nautical miles, west of Waldport. The Unified Command expects that by midnight Thursday, March 11, the tug and bow will reach the site where the bow will be sunk.

The bow is listing about 10 degrees toward the starboard side, which may be caused by flooding. The vessel is currently over about 9,000 feet of water and, if it sinks due to this flooding, the tug is not in any danger because it can easily release the towline.

A slight sheen from the bow was observed during this afternoon's overflight. It is small and unrecoverable and dissipated within about a half a mile of the vessel.

Wildlife update

Biologists have seen 185 birds in the rehabilitation center since the New Carissa first became grounded on Feb. 4. Of the 185 through rehabilitation, 159 had oil on them. A total of 509 birds have been found dead since Feb. 4., and 239 of them had oil on them. Biologists will not know the cause of death of the other 270 until post mortem exams are performed. They believe some may have died from winter storms, disease, starvation, predation or some may have ingested oil.

Individuals who find oiled wildlife should call (541) 536-7614 to report the location and the amount of oil on the wildlife.

Beach clean up effort

Clean up crews have collected 118 cubic yards of waste from the beaches around Waldport since March 3. Today they picked up about 20 bags of oily thatch and debris at Shepard's Point in Alsea Bay. Crews working from Alsea Seawall to the Yachats River collected 13 bags of snare that had light tarball coverage and four bags of oily thatch. Clean up crews working south of the jetty in Newport to the spit in Waldport collected 30 bags of lightly oiled debris. In addition, crews in the Coos Bay, Ore. area collected about one quart of tarballs.

The hard, or protective, boom was pulled out of Alsea Bay today. It is on standby and ready to be replaced if necessary.

Sea life at the New Carissa sinking site

The Unified Command has worked closely with scientists and biologists to determine an area for sinking the ship that will have the least impact on marine life.

The bow of the New Carissa will be sunk in more than 9,000 feet of water at a site beyond the continental shelf. The ship will not be sunk near volcanic vents. There is no data on biological conditions at that specific site, but studies at similar depths give clues about what to expect.

The area is dark and sluggish, meaning currents usually move at less than .05 knots, and the temperature is about 35 degrees.

The amount of fish and benthic marine life, such as sea cucumbers and crabs, is much less than on the continental slope or shelf and there are no commercially important fish. Probably two to 10 times fewer organisms exist at the sinking site than on the continental shelf, and the density of benthic organisms is probably in the range of four to 10 organisms in 10 square meters. There may be some crustaceans, clams and worms in the sediment that are unique to that zone of the ocean. A study of a similar zone near San Francisco found an average density of 207 fish every two and a half acres.

The New Carissa may smother some marine life when it hits bottom. In addition, the cloud of sediment created by the impact will slowly resettle around the ship, changing the environment of the creatures that live in the sediment within the area where the bow lands.

The bow of the New Carissa will probably become an artificial reef for a variety of deep-sea fish and crabs. Since the oil will be a solid at those temperatures, it will probably not affect the marine life.



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