Photos and Information about Piver's Island, the Rachel Carson Reserve, Shackelford Banks and Fort Macon
Research Vessel Cape Hatteras leaves Beaufort

In order to study the oil spill in the Gulf, a crew employed by Duke University left Beaufort early Saturday afternoon.

The Duke Marine Laboratory and the Duke University-University of North Carolina Oceanographic Consortium operate the Research Vessel Cape Hatteras, a 135-foot-long owned by the National Science Foundation.

The crew plans to stop in Gulfport, Miss., to pick up researchers from various universities and spend several days on the Gulf studying the methane in the water from the spill and compare the findings to earlier studies.