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Tar balls on Oak island likely not from Gulf spill

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OAK ISLAND, N.C. (AP) - Coast Guard investigators are searching for the source of tar clumps that washed ashore on a North Carolina beach.

Multiple media organizations reported Thursday that the head of the Wilmington Coast Guard unit which investigates spills at sea says it's unlikely the black balls came from the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Commander John Nadeau says it's not unusual to find tar balls that wash up on beaches. He says oil in the water from any source turns into a putty-like substance after the oil collects particles.

Nadeau says about three dozen clumps filling a half-gallon container were collected along Caswell Beach.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) -- Vacationers in Oak Island were greeted with an expected sight today as tar balls washed up on shore. Tar balls are remnants of an oil spill. They're sticky and dark in color.

The vacationers who found this tar ball say they've seen several more on the beach. At first they didn't know what to think.

"We weren't sure what it was until we saw Good Morning America this morning, and they had the exact replica of the tar that had been from the oil spill," said Larissa Stanley, who was visiting from Fayetteville.

We called the Oak Island Coast Guard Station to see if they knew where these tar balls came from, but we were the first ones to inform them.

The federal government today said tar balls that have washed up in the Florida Keys are not from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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