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Friday, June 11, 2010

Journalist scuba dives under Gulf of Mexico oil slick

AP journalist Rich Matthews has dived under the murky depths of the Gulf of Mexico to see the environmental devastation caused by the oil pumping from the broken undersea oil well.


Here is an edited version of his report.



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.
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
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 full version and pics can be found here

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