Robert, Louisiana (Hollywood Backstage) -- The first attempt at placing the insertion tube into the main leak has failed due to mechanical problems. The tube was hoisted back to the ship where the frame which holds the tube into place was adjusted. The assembly is back on the sea floor.
Engineers and crew are having a difficult time connecting the 1 mile long pipe to the leaking riser pipe which has now dumped about 5 million gallons of crude oil straight into the ocean. As the days progress (now day 23), the oil spill is approaching the size of the Exxon Valdez which spilled an estimated minimum 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of crude oil.
A second attempt will be made this evening.
The underwater dispersants are now being deployed successfully. They will be monitored closely by the EPA.
The large body of oil remains, for the most part, off of the shorelines.
Weather has blocked in-situ burning for today.
Oil continues to spill at an estimate rate of 5,000 barrels per day.
Spill responders are asking today for the public’s help in monitoring boom along the Gulf Coast. Boaters are requested to report sightings of broken, disconnected, or adrift boom; and encouraged to keep their distance from boom especially at night and in conditions of restricted visibility.
“Boom provides one more line of defense in protecting our favorite places along the Gulf Coast. It’s important the boom not be disturbed,” said Capt. Bill Drelling, U.S. Coast Guard deputy incident commander of Sector Mobile.
Agencies have received reports of boaters driving through boom or disturbing boom in attempts to access protected areas. Responders understand the inconvenience of not being able to access these areas; however, areas that are boomed include some of the most environmentally sensitive places along the coast. Opening or removing these booms may expose those sensitive areas to environmental harm.
Officials are also concerned boom that has broken loose or has been opened without authorization poses a navigational hazard to the boating public and commercial shipping traffic.
About 1.2 million feet of boom have been installed across the Gulf Coast with 900,000 feet in the Mobile Sector to date and another 3.5 million feet of boom is either staged, ordered or in production.
Report damaged, vandalized, adrift, or stolen boom to: 1-866-448-5816
Ocean Oil Spill