Separate reports of birds and a seal that had oil on them have prompted local, state and federal officials to begin an investigation on St. Lawrence Island.
Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley says the culmination of reports raised red flags, prompting a closer look. A Coast Guard plane was conducting an aerial survey Thursday, and investigators from the guard and state were expected on scene Friday.
The Coast Guard hasn’t had any reports of damaged or sunken ships in the area.
Mosley says the first report was made Oct. 25 about a seal that looked like it had some oil on it. Then a hunter on Monday came across birds that had oil on them.
Oil samples collected Wednesday were sent to Anchorage in an attempt to narrow the source.