Southern California

Oil Slick Reported at SoCal Beach

Santa Barbara County fire officials say kayakers got out of the water with oil on their boats and legs

The U.S. Coast Guard was inspecting an oil slick off the coast of Southern California Wednesday afternoon after kayakers arrived to shore with oil on their boats and legs, officials said.

Santa Barbara County fire officials responding to a call of the smell of oil at Goleta Beach before 10 a.m. arrived to find two people coming to shore, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

The pair reported a large oil slick, Zaniboni said, adding that oil was on the kayakers' legs and boats.

No oil was reported on the shore, but the Coast Guard sent a team to inspect the beach, USCG Petty Officer Andrea Anderson told NBC4.

Anderson said the "oil sheen" was 2 miles wide and about 1,000 yards off shore.

US Coast Guard Lt. Jeremy Maginot said officials were not sure of the source of the sheen.

"When we can identify, if we can identify, a responsible party then we would have greater grounds to initiate a cleanup," he said. "At this point we don't have a source. In the event that it's natural seepage, he added, "we are unable to use the federal funds to clean up the beach."

The reported oil sheen comes more than two months after a pipeline ruptured off the Santa Barbara County coast and spilled over 100,000 gallons of crude oil.

The May 19 spill blackened beaches near Santa Barbara and created a 9-mile slick in the Pacific Ocean.

The Coast Guard urges the public and boaters to not come in contact with the oil and remain a safe distance from any visible sheen.

Call the National Response Center at 800-424-8802 or the Coast Guard Command Center at 310-521-3801 for information.

Mekahlo Medina contributed to this report.

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