Under the BP Oil Spill

SUBHEAD: Reporter dives below slick to witness its impact, and interviews offshore tower scubadivers. Image above: Rich Matthews in wetsuit dives into BP oil slick in Gulf of Mexico. From article. By Rich Matthews on 9 June 2010 for Huffington Post - (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/09/gulf-oil-spill-dive-repor_n_605582.html) Some 40 miles out into the Gulf Of Mexico, I jump off the boat into the thickest patch of red oil I've ever seen. I open my eyes and realize my mask is already smeared. I can't see anything and we're just five seconds into the dive.

Dropping beneath the surface the only thing I see is oil. To the left, right, up and down – it sits on top of the water in giant pools, and hangs suspended fifteen feet beneath the surface in softball sized blobs. There is nothing alive under the slick, although I see a dead jellyfish and handful of small bait fish.

I'm alone because the other divers with me wouldn't get in the water without Hazmat suits on, and with my mask oiled over and the water already dark, I don't dive deep.

It's quiet, and to be honest scary, extremely low visibility. I spend just 10 minutes swimming around taking pictures, taking video. I want people to see the spill in a new way, a way they haven't yet.

I also want to get out of the water. Badly.

Video above: Associated Press film by Rich Matthews reporting on effects of spill under water. From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGX7krQYI_4).

I make my way to the back of the boat unaware of just how covered I am. To be honest, I look a little like one of those poor pelicans we've all been seeing for days now. The oil is so thick and sticky, almost like a cake batter. It does not wipe off. You have to scrape it off, in layers until you finally get close to the skin. Then you pour on some Dawn dishwashing soap and scrub. I think to myself: No fish, no bird, no turtle would ever be able to clean this off of themselves. If any animal, any were to end up in this same puddle there is almost no way they could escape.

The cleaning process goes on for half an hour before the captain will even think about letting me back in the boat. I'm clean, so I stand up. But the bottoms of my feet still had oil, and I fall back in the water. The process starts again. Another 30 minutes of cleaning and finally I'm ready to step into the boat.

1 comment :

R.Stone said...

500 miles north of the gulf- this systemic toxin needs better containment until they can shut it down. A surface containment isn't working really there isn't any great alternative other than shut this thing down... if they were drilling why is this crap coming out of a pipe. if a drill was in the pipe stick a drill back in it.I see nuts on the pipe why don't they bolt something else on to it.why not get NASA involved they have been working in space and have some degree of technology down.I know that the navy have divers that just like in the movies have deep 100% fluid breathing systems why not adapt that system to deal with this. if they can disarm nuclear warheads under deep sea conditions why are with not doing what we have to here. and why did the big guy with BP sell out his share conveniently before this mishap. something smells here and it isn't just the oil. diver from CA. living in AR. praying for solution to the poison that pours into our ocean. when they drop a nuclear bomb the fallout blows around the earth and hits us in the back of the head. do we not think this systemic toxin will flow around the earth thru the ocean currents. if titanium oxide and sunlight separates oxygen and hydrogen why not accept this along with solar power and wind power and wave power and tidal power and capture lightening..do all this things that nature provided for us that don't hurt the earth. love you all in Hawaii. Part native American here tired of forked tongue. Living in Arkansas caring for all people and creatures.

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