Dozens of people volunteered Sunday to save hundreds of sea birds coated with gooey oil that leaked from a damaged barge, marking the fourth Christmas in six years the Washington coastline has been fouled by a spill.

By midday Sunday, some 40 volunteers had rescued more than 500 birds over a two-day period, but another 175 were found dead along a 3-mile stretch of Grays Harbor beach.Don Kane of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the birds, taken to a makeshift center at a school in Hoquiam, were carefully washed in a solution of dish soap, put under animal dryers and then fed vitamins and other nourishment to counteract the petroleum products they ingested.