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Pumping Resumes on Grounded Ship

February 22, 1999

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) _ The Coast Guard resumed pumping oil off the grounded freighter New Carissa on Sunday in order to prepare the broken ship to be towed out to sea.

Pumping had begun about 6 p.m. Saturday and was halted temporarily due to high tide and heavy surf threatening hose lines.

The fuel oil was mixed with seawater, so the salvage team wasn’t sure how much was left on board.

The Japanese-owned freighter initially carried about 400,000 gallons, 70,000 of which the Coast Guard believes leaked into the sea after it ran aground Feb. 4. After a Navy explosives team set the broken ship afire to burn off its fuel cargo, officials believed there was about 135,000 gallons still on board.

The leak happened along one of the most environmentally sensitive beaches in the state. After the Navy fire and the pumping, officials believe sinking the 440-foot front section will help contain the gooey liquid.

Plans to tow the broken ship and sink it in the deep Pacific are on hold until at least Tuesday. A special cable needed to haul the bow section off the beach had to be flown in from the Netherlands and will not arrive until late Monday.

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