Coast Guard investigates report of oil spill in Charleston Harbor

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Coast Guard is investigating reports of an oil spill Tuesday in the mouth of Charleston Harbor, S.C., and surrounding beaches.

Several mariners reported an oil sheen and tar balls, emulsified petroleum products, in the mouth of Charleston Harbor, between Fort Moultrie, Morris Island and on both Sullivan’s Island, S.C., and Folley Beach, S.C.

An HH-65 Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Facility Charleston and a small boat crew from Aids to Navigation Team Charleston immediately investigated the report, confirming tar balls and a sheen on the water.

The National Parks Service, South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Health and Environmental Control and local municipalities have been notified.

An environmental response company will conduct on-water and shoreline clean-up operations. The Coast Guard deployed shoreline clean-up assessment teams to assist with response.

The source of the spilled petroleum product is unknown.

The Coast Guard is asking the public to minimize maritime traffic in the harbor and near affected shorelines. Please do not attempt to remove or clean up any petroleum products located in or around the beach. The clean-up is being conducted by properly trained and outfitted personnel. Report any significant sightings of impacted beaches, marsh or other areas to Coast Guard Sector Charleston at (843) 740-7090.

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