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Devastating Photos Show How An Oil Spill Consumed Santa Barbara's Coastline

05/22/2015 08:03 am ET | Updated May 22, 2015

Animals and marine life are washing up on Santa Barbara's shores after a ruptured underground pipeline leaked an estimated total of 105,000 gallons of crude oil on Tuesday -- 21,000 gallons of which ended up in the ocean.

Shayne Tuthill, a local resident who was cleaning up a section of the coastline with a group of volunteers on Wednesday, told The Huffington Post that he saw oiled fish, squid, and even a seal and a pelican that appeared to be dying on the beach.

"It was really sad to see the seal because it came to shore and couldn't breathe or swim," he said. "The pelican was alive at one point. It landed, but it was consumed by the oil ... and died."

Official cleanup crews supervised by the U.S. Coast Guard have spent the past three days working on the beach. Wildlife officials say they've counted at least five oiled brown pelicans.

As of Thursday evening, more than 8,300 gallons of oily water had been collected, according to the Los Angeles Times, but Coast Guard officials say it could take months to restore the area and ocean to its original condition.

Below, see how the oil spill consumed a once idyllic shoreline within three days.

  • RJ Morabito
    A wave, dirtied with oil, breaking on the first day of the spill at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, California, on May 19, 2015.
  • Shayne Tuthill
    A pelican landed on the beach covered with oil while local resident Shayne Tuthill was helping a group remove oil from the sand near Refugio State Beach.
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    Oil flows toward the ocean from an inland oil spill near Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015. About 21,000 gallons spilled from an abandoned pipeline on the land near Refugio State Beach, spreading over about four miles of beach within hours.
  • Al Seib via Getty Images
    Jake Lee, a Santa Barbara resident, walks the oil-coated beach at Refugio State Beach looking for wildlife to rescue.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    California mussels and a crab are covered in oil at Refugio State Beach. More than 7,700 gallons of oil has been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across nine miles of California coast -- just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    An octopus lies dead on an oil-covered beach after an oil spill near Refugio State Beach.
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    An oil-covered lobster lies dead on the beach after an oil spill near Refugio State Beach.
  • Brian van der Brug via Getty Images
    Oil is dissipating in the ocean as cleanup and containment effort continues in Santa Barbara, California.
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    A California brown pelican and California sea lion fish in oil-contaminated water from an inland oil spill near Refugio State Beach.
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    Crews clean oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015.
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    Oil covers rocks on the beach near Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015.
  • David McNew via Getty Images
    Oil flows toward the ocean from an inland oil spill near Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015.
  • Al Seib via Getty Images
    Diego Topete, left, and Ryan Cullom, right, walk the oil-coated beach at Refugio State Beach on May 19, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A worker removes oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach on May 21, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A bird covered in oil flaps its wings at Refugio State Beach on May 21, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Cleanup crews work at the site of an oil spill at Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Cleanup crews remove oil-laden sand.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Ships pulling booms collect oil.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Cleanup workers place shovels of oil-laden sand in bags.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Plastic buckets filled with oil collected from the beach at Refugio State Beach.
  • RJ Morabito
    Photographer RJ Morabito got an early look at the oil on the first day of the spill at Refugio State Beach on May 19, 2015.
  • RJ Morabito
    On the first day of the oil spill, waves turned brown at Refugio State Beach.
  • Brett Connors
    Aerial views of the shoreline on the first day of the oil spill at Refugio State Beach. You can follow Brett Connors on Instagram at @bretterz.
  • Brett Connors
    Aerial views of the shoreline on the first day of the oil spill at Refugio State Beach.
  • Shayne Tuthill
    Local resident Shayne Tuthill found an oil-covered squid while helping a group of volunteers remove oil from sections of Refugio State Beach.
  • Shayne Tuthill
    More oil washed up on the shore one day after the oil spill at Refugio State Beach.
  • Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    A pelican flies over an oil slick on the surface of the Pacific Ocean near Refugio State Beach on May 21, 2015, in Goleta, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency after over 100,000 gallons of oil may have spilled from an abandoned pipeline on the land near Refugio State Beach, spreading over about nine miles of beach within hours. The largest oil spill ever in U.S. waters at the time occurred in 1969 in the same section of the coast, where numerous offshore oil platforms can be seen, giving birth to the modern American environmental movement. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Earlier on HuffPost:

Gulf Oil Spill-- Looking Back
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