Report: Heavy oil off Cat Island (Updated 2:05 p.m.)

Heavy oil that was reported to be off Ship Island Thursday night is now reportedly off the south side of Cat Island and between protective boom and the shore, a state Department of Environmental Quality official said today.

Earl Etheridge with the state DEQ, said he received the report this morning before taking off on a flight over the Sound to survey the oil.

During a flyover of the island, seaweed mixed with tar balls could be seen on the south side of West Ship Island. Dark streaks could be seen beneath the surface, but observers couldn't tell if it was oil or algae from the overhead viewpoint. Boats were dispatched to investigate the streaks.

From the air, tar balls and emulsified oil can be seen in a half-mile long scum line in the water due east of Silver Slipper Casino in Bayou Caddy.

On Cat Island, oil and sheen are confirmed visually south of the west end of Cat Island. Tar balls can be seen along parts of the shore and along the oil boom. will update this story as more details become available.