Strong winds prevented French navy vessels on Saturday from pumping up slicks of heavy fuel oil that have spewed into the sea off France's northwestern coast from a wrecked tanker.
It was the third day in succession that the cleanup operation had to be put on hold as westerly winds nudged the gooey, viscous oil toward the coast.
Three boats -- German, Dutch and British, were nearby, waiting for the gales to die down before joining the environmental mop-up.
The slicks, which are anywhere from 166 to 500 feet long, came from the Maltese-registered tanker Erika that broke up last Sunday near the Brittany peninsula.
The two halves of the boat sunk the following day and experts estimate that between 8,000 and 15,000 tons of the boat's original 25,000-ton cargo have escaped into the sea.