The extrusion of mud over a period of several months has built up a 50-foot-high and 500-foot-long mound that's now just below the water's surface. Paul Saunders, chief executive officer of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, said that initial reports of the mud volcano came from divers and fishermen in the area. He also said that although there have been no reports of accidents thus far, there is a genuine danger to any boats that approach the area. Sailors are advised to stay at least one mile from the disturbance, as the waves are big enough to capsize a small boat. Boats could also lose buoyancy because of natural gas bubbling up to the surface, or they could run aground in the mud.