Coast Guard investigating unknown substance off NC coast

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Coast Guard is responding to reports of an unknown substance in the water discovered by boaters in several locations off the North Carolina coast Wednesday.

According to Coast Guard pollution investigators, it is described as a sticky, brown substance with no odor present, which is consistent with attributes of algae.

“Coast Guard pollution investigators are testing samples from multiple locations to make a final determination of whether or not hydrocarbons are present in the water off the coast of North Carolina,” said Cmdr. Steve McGee, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Wilmington.

Testing to identify the substance is ongoing.

The substance has been reported as far north as Onslow Beach, N.C. and as far south as Charleston, S.C.

Responding Coast Guard units from Sector North Carolina include Marine Safety Unit Wilmington, Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach and Coast Guard Station Oak Island; as well as an Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130.

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