Beneath The Surface Of The Gulf Oil Spill
On May 24th, a team dove just below the surface of the Gulf oil spill to give us a completely different and disturbing perspective of the disaster.
Philippe Cousteau, Jr. and Sam Shepard teamed up and entered the water on March 24th. Philippe is the Chief Ocean Correspondent for Animal Planet and Planet Green. He is also the grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Sam Shepard is an ABC correspondent.
Philippe tells Treehugger how it began:
It all started three weeks ago when we called the producers at ABC’s Good Morning America and said, “I don’t think anyone has ever filmed a dive in an oil spill…we should do it.” Three weeks of logistical planning, risk assessment and even postponement due to weather, and we got a window to head out to dive in the oil. Our goal was to find the thickest oil/chemical dispersant mixture we could and then get in the water.
Diving into oil is very dangerous, so Philippe and Sam donned special protective hazmat gear.
Philipe describes the equipment:
We had full hazmat outfits which included full dry suits, Kirby Morgan hard helmets and air hoses and in water communications. All of the gear was designed to protect us from chemical exposure and it ended up being one of the most grueling days I have ever had diving.
The first video is the entire segment that aired on ABC’s Good Morning America show.
We just got of the water and I have to tell you it’s one of the most disgusting, terrible things I’ve ever seen.
Hear what else he has to say in the video below.
The following video is from Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. It contains more high quality footage of the oil spill from just underneath the surface of the water. Towards the end of the video you can even see a Portuguese Man ‘o War and a small fish swimming in the mess.
Even though this is very hard to watch, I really appreciate what Philipe, Sam, ABC and the rest of the team did to bring this footage to us all.