Huntington Beach Oil Spill Videos Show 126,000 Gallon Leak That Has Killed Wildlife

Videos have been posted online documenting a huge oil spill which has hit Huntington Beach in California.

The spill, for which oil producer Beta Offshore is responsible for according to the City of Huntington Beach, has released approximately 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the water.

Orange County health officials issued a statement warning about the potentially harmful effects of the spill, though wildlife deaths have already been reported.

Katrina Foley, Orange County supervisor for the 2nd District, said on Saturday: "The impact on the environment is irreversible."

One video posted to Twitter shows a blackened beach, with the oil from the water having soaked into the sand.

They lifted the flight restrictions so I popped the drone up #oilspill #huntingtonbeach #newportbeach

— 48th district King (@bigwavebill1) October 4, 2021

Another documents the efforts of local crews who are working to build walls of sand in an effort to keep the oil out of wetlands.

And close-up footage of the water shows how a slick layer of ghostly black oil swirls atop it.

Crews have been working non stop to keep the oil out of the wetlands. #OilSpill #wetlands #huntingtonbeach

— 48th district King (@bigwavebill1) October 4, 2021

Oil slick off the coast of HB. Bad ending to a great day! What a great air show!!!

— nina rodriguez glover (@glove_nina) October 3, 2021

In a statement, Thomas Cullen, chief deputy director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he was informed of the spill on Saturday morning and that fishing activities occur in the vicinity of the spill.

The department ordered a temporary ban on fishing and shellfishing in the affected waters or in waters where the spill is expected to spread, citing public health threats. The ocean and shore have been closed from Seapoint to the Santa Ana River.

Meanwhile, people have been urged by the Orange County Health Care Agency not to gather, swim, exercise, or even walk on the coastline due to potentially harmful effects of the spill, which could cause pollutants to enter the air.

Dr. Clayton Chau, the agency's County Health Officer, said in a statement: "People may come in direct contact with oil and/or oil products while walking in a contaminated area (e.g., beach). An initial irritation will be obvious.

"Additionally, contaminants may be absorbed through the skin. Even when an oil sheen may not be visible, dispersed and dissolved oil contaminants may exist in the water."

Chau added that people should contact their physician or call 911 if they begin experiencing symptoms.

Symptoms reported from excessive exposure to oil include skin, eye, throat and nose irritation, headache, dizziness, vomiting, and a cough or shortness of breath.

Elderly people, children and people with respiratory conditions like asthma will be more susceptible to these effects, which can be caused by breathing in air from wind-blown waves.

In terms of wildlife, reports of oiled animals are being investigated.

The ecological impacts are already significant. Birds and fish have been reported washing up on the shore, while at least one duck was taken in for veterinary care. The public are asked to report oiled animals to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

As of Sunday night, around 3,150 gallons of oil have been recovered from the water, with 14 boats involved in the oil recovery efforts that day.

The exact cause of the spill is under investigation.

Huntington Beach oil spill
A team works to clean up the oil spill on October 3 in Huntington Beach, California. Wildlife affected by the oil spill has already been reported. Mario Tama/Getty