Oil Spill Containment Box
“We haven’t done this before.” Sounds like a church business meeting, but unlike most church business meetings – where folks are not willing to try something new – this “something new” is being carried out with the blessings and hopes of a nation.
BP spokesman David Nicholas went on to say, “It’s very complex and we can’t guarantee it,” as the 100-ton concrete-and-steel box plunged toward a blown-out well at the bottom of the sea in a first-of-its-kind attempt to stop most of the crude oil from fouling the Gulf of Mexico.
Undersea robots were placing buoys around the main oil leak to act as markers to help line up the 40-foot-tall box. Once the contraption gets to the seafloor, the underwater robots will secure it over the leak. If this works, the box could be collecting as much as 85 percent of the oil and sending it to a tanker by Sunday.
The containment box will not completely solve the problem . Crews are still drilling a relief well and working on other methods to stop the leaks. If the box works, a second one now being built may be used to deal with a second, smaller leak from the sea floor.
Meanwhile, the resulting oil slick from the disaster is beginning to reach several barrier islands off the Louisiana coast. Residents are reporting sightings of dead jellyfish washed up on the uninhabited islands.
“It’s all over the place. We hope to get it cleaned up before it moves up the west side of the river,” said Dustin Chauvin, a 20-year-old shrimp boat captain from Terrebonne Parish, La. “That’s our whole fishing ground. That’s our livelihood.”*