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Crist, officials tour gulf oil spill

Gov. Charlie Crist, AG Bill McCollum and CFO Alex Sink boarded an Air Force C-130 Tuesday morning to see the enormity of the oil spill and get a briefing from officials at the Unified Command Center in Mobile, Ala. Also on board: Sens. Durell Peaden, R-Crestview and Charlie Dean, R-Inverness. The group also will visit the Escambia County EOC in Pensacola.

"The purpose is to learn, see what's going on, show concern and be able to coordinate," Crist said. He said Florida's emergency declaration, which already extends south to Sarasota, would be extended to Collier in Naples later Tuesday.

The governor is dressed in a blue SERT polo shirt (state emergency response team), blue jeans and white sneakers.

Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, is the third lawmaker on the trip, along with DEP Secretary Mike Sole and Dave Halstead, the state emergency management chief.

-- Steve Bousquet