California beaches remain open as source of oil slick sought

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Beaches Remain Open Despite 3-Mile-Long Oil Sheen Off California Coast

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) -- The Coast Guard is hoping lab tests will determine the source of a mysterious miles-long oil slick floating off California's Santa Barbara County shoreline.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson said Thursday that the 3-mile-long sheen is about 1,000 yards from the sand and beaches remain open.

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California beaches remain open as source of oil slick sought
This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows an oil slick off the coast of the Santa Barbara County shoreline near Goleta, Calif., Thursday morning, July 30, 2015. Coast Guard officials were still trying to determine the source of the mysterious miles-long oil slick. Authorities said the 3-mile sheen was harmless to people and beaches remained open — in contrast to the mass closure that occurred in May when a broken pipeline spilled 100,000 gallons of crude oil, fouling sands, seabirds and fishing areas in the same general area. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County, Calif., Fire Department shows a sample of oil scraped off the side of a kayak after two kayakers encountered a large oil sheen and called the fire department to investigate, seen at the Goleta Beach parking lot in Goleta, Calif., Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The Coast Guard is investigating this new oil slick off the Southern California coast about a dozen miles from where a broken pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of crude into the ocean in May. The oil sheen was reported late Wednesday morning about 1,000 yards offshore from Goleta. (AP Photo/Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County, Calif., Fire Department, Henry Duncan, left, and Bob Seiler, legs covered in oil, foreground, stand in the Goleta Beach parking lot with their oil-covered kayaks, on the truck at rear, in Goleta, Calif., Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The pair encountered a large oil sheen and called the fire department to investigate. The Coast Guard is investigating this new oil slick off the Southern California coast about a dozen miles from where a broken pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of crude into the ocean in May. (Mike Eliason/ Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)
oil is now washing ashore in Goleta. @MarkKonoSky5 flying this- and it appears bigger than spill in May http://t.co/lRRd50xqRC
Kayakers report a mile stretch of large clumps of oil off #Goleta beach just now, scraping thick oil off their boats http://t.co/oZm2EYyt2j
Oil seen coming up with the tide along #goleta beach http://t.co/u4kInsduke
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She says tar ball samples were sent to labs after the slick was reported by kayakers Wednesday off the city of Goleta. There's no word when results may come back.

Anderson says officials hope to determine whether the tar is from natural seepage or oil extraction operations.

In May, a broken pipeline spilled 100,000 gallons of crude oil, fouling sands, seabirds and fishing areas in the same general area.

The new slick is drifting east toward waters off the city of Santa Barbara.

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