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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

BOW OF NEW CARISSA SINKS TO RESTING SITE

Waldport, Ore., March 11, 1999 1800 hours

The Unified Command announced that the U S Navy detonated explosives attached to the bow of the New Carissa, then from the five- inch deck guns of the Navy destroyer USS David R. Ray and finally the Navy attack submarine USS Bremerton fired a torpedo at the underside of the bow, creating a controlled, massive flooding of the 440-foot section of the New Carissa.

The bow of the New Carissa went down in one piece 282.5 nautical miles west of the Oregon coast. The explosives were detonated at 2:10 p.m. PST today, and the torpedo hit at 3:43 p.m. PST. According to the commanding officer of the USS David R. Ray, the vessel was submerged about 10 minutes after the torpedo hit. The Unified Command estimates the bow will be buried in more than 10,000 feet of water.

Personnel on the USS David R. Ray initially estimated that an oil slick about 1,000 yards wide appeared as the bow went down. However, the Oregon Responder, an oil skimmer operated by the Marine Spill Response Corporation, is on-site and has not found any indication of oil.

"It's been the ship that wouldn't die, but it can't do anymore harm that far down," said Bill Milwee, a member of the Unified Command and a salvage expert with Gallagher Marine Systems. "There's still quite a way to go, but as an Oregon resident I'm even more adamant that we will win in the end. We'll continue working until we've chosen the best option for the stern and the oil is cleaned up," he said.

"This incident has been so complex and challenging, that I've had to continually draw on my lifetime of experience working with ships each time Mother Nature changed the rules on us," Milwee added.

"The crew on the USS David R. Ray have indicated that the New Carissa sank by the stern. That provides the best assurance that the remaining oil will be trapped onboard. We also expect that the very cold ocean temperatures will help trap the oil in the fuel tanks," Milwee said.

Meanwhile, crews continue to clean oil that leaked earlier from the New Carissa off beaches from Coos Bay, Ore., to Lincoln City, Ore. "The size and amount of tarballs on the beaches is steadily decreasing," said Loren Garner of the Oregon Department of

Environmental Quality and a member of the Unified Command. "Our teams today cleaned beaches from Newport south to the Yachats River. In the area between Alsea Bay and the Yachats River, the clean up crews found very little oil." Crews finished cleaning up the Shepard's Point area in Alsea Bay and also collected some waste from Washburne State Park, just to the north of Heceta Head. Crews also worked from Coos Bay to north of Tenmile Creek and found very little oil.

Officials from the International Bird Research and Rescue Center continue to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to survey the amount of wildlife affected by the two groundings of the New Carissa. To date, 201 birds have been through the rehabilitation center, 172 of those with oil on them. A total of 604 birds have died, and 273 had oil on them.

Captain Mike Hall of the U.S. Coast Guard and a member of the Unified Command said, "The past few weeks have been a long struggle. Often, we had to make decisions when there were no good choices. Thanks to the support of the local communities, the professionalism of everyone involved, and their unwavering commitment, it appears we have overcome the odds. We have made the right choices for the right reasons, which are safety of personnel and the environment."

Once the bow is sunk, the Unified Command will focus on the stern, which remains on the shoreline in Coos Bay, as well as the ongoing clean up operations.

"I'm glad the bow section is finally off our beaches, and now we will review our options for the stern," said Milwee. "We'll base our decision on what we believe to be best for the environment and the wildlife habitat in the area."



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