NOAA Research Ship Prepares To Track Oil

New Orleans, La. – Captain Shepard Smith says the research ship Thomas Jefferson normally maps wetlands and shallow waters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's now in New Orleans, preparing to head out next week and look for deep-sea oil.

"We're really adapting sensors that are designed for other oceanographic purposes to this very particular task, and we don't know exactly how it's going to work out yet."

He says the equipment usually finds schools of fish and other marine life. Smith says he's hoping the readings for oil will look much the same. He says the vessel will try to track the outer edges of the oil plume, and it will not sail through or over the slick.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.