There was a renewed sense of urgency as dime-to golfball-sized balls of tar began washing up on Dauphin Island, three miles off the Alabama mainland at the mouth of Mobile Bay and much farther east than the thin, rainbow sheens that had so far arrived sporadically in the Louisiana marshes.
Still, BP officials overseeing the cleanup efforts were not giving up just yet on hopes that a containment box – either the one brought there or a larger one being built – could cover the well and be used to capture the oil and funnel it to a tanker at the surface to be carted away. Officials said it would be at least Monday before a decision was made on what next step to take.
"I wouldn't say it's failed yet," BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said. "What I would say is what we attempted to do ... didn't work."