Coast Guard responds to report of sheen in Gulf of Mexico

8th Coast Guard District NewsVENICE, La. — The Coast Guard is investigating the report of a rainbow sheen, Thursday, approximately 56 miles offshore Venice in the Gulf of Mexico.

Watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center received notification from Shell Oil Co., Wednesday, at 4:45 p.m., reporting that a rainbow sheen one mile by 10 miles in length was spotted near the Mississippi Canyon Block 807.

The Captain of the Port Morgan City, Capt. Jonathan Burton, issued a Notice of Federal Interest to Shell Offshore. The source of the sheen and the responsible party are unknown at this time.

Pollution investigators from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans conducted an overflight, Thursday, aboard a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65C Dolphin helicopter.

“We are treating this very seriously, as we do all reports of possible pollution. And, in consultation with our state and local partners, we will ensure that all measures are taken to fully investigate and, if necessary, mitigate any impact this could potentially have,” said Burton.

A skimmer vessel from Shell is scheduled to be on scene and assist with potential cleanup operations, should recoverable product be identified.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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