In the next nine months, experts and divers (including Red Adair) were brought in to contain and cap the oil well. Approximately an average of ten thousand to thirty thousand barrels per day were discharged into the Gulf until it was finally capped on 23 March 1980. Prevailing currents carried the oil towards the Texas coastline. The US government had two months to prepare booms to protect major inlets. Eventually, in the US, 162 miles (261 km) of beaches and 1421 birds were affected by 3,000,000 barrels (480,000 m3) of oil. Mexico rejected US requests to be compensated for cleanup costs.
The oil slick surrounded Rancho Nuevo, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which is one of the few nesting sites for Kemp's Ridley sea turtles. Thousands of baby sea turtles were airlifted to a clean portion of the Gulf of Mexico to help save the rare species.