Coast Guard tests advanced technology to track oil spills

An oil spill in California on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, created a slick in the ocean that stretched for miles near a popular beach. Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the spill began west of Santa Barbara after a pipeline ruptured and has now moved toward Refugio State Beach. The pipeline responsible has been shut off, he said.

NEW LONDON — The Coast Guard is developing and testing new technology that could help record and mark the location of oil spills all across the oceans.

The Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London developed the Marine Object Tracking Technology for these purposes, and performed a simulated test of the devices by throwing them off a bridge into a nearby river on Tuesday.

The goal of a simulated bridge test was to prepare for a full test where they would be dropped from helicopters. Not all of the 15 devices tested were retrieved however, some broke during testing.

A full field test in San Francisco is planned for later this month.