Monday, June 28, 2010

Video: Dolphins and a Whale Struggle to Survive in BP Oil Slick

A new video from an Alabama environmental investigator shows more than 50 dolphins, some of them dying, in the BP oil slick. The video also shows a sperm whale with oil all around its blow hole and red splotches down its back, as if it's been "basted in crude."

John Wathen provided perhaps the most dramatic early images of the oil spill and uttered the unforgettable phrase: "The Gulf appears to be bleeding." In his latest video--filmed June 21--Wathen provides disturbing images of the struggle for life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wathen spots several pods of dolphins, one of 18 animals and another of 36. Some of the dolphins appear to be struggling to breathe, others appear to be dead or dying. Some of the dolphins, Wathen says, seem to be looking up at his aircraft, "Wondering, 'Why is my world burning down around me?'"

The video includes stark footage of at least seven fires that are set in an effort to burn off oil. "From the size of these fires, it seems as though we are trying not only to kill everything in the Gulf of Mexico, but everything that flies over it, as well," Wathen says.

At one point, he refers to a "massive fire from hell, putting toxins into the air. . . . Will the Gulf ever be the same again?"

How bad is the situation in the gulf? Wathen says he and his pilot picked up heavy oil at 1.2 miles off Gulf Shores, Alabama. At 17 miles out, there was no more clear water in sight. At 23 miles out, the water took on a purplish, bluish hue.

Wathen calls those areas "rainbows of death that cover the entire horizon."

Here is Wathen's devastating summary: "From 1.2 miles off Gulf Shores, Alabama, to the Ground Zero site some 90 miles away, we haven't flown over a single square inch of clean water."

You can check out the full video below:

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