Posted: May 31, 2010 6:30 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: May 31, 2010 6:30 PM
It's hard to see the oil resting on Louisiana’s shore 5,000 feet in the air, but fly 50 miles into the gulf and the oil stretches into the horizon.
Lieutenant Michael Patterson of the U.S. Coast Guard said, "you do see this patchwork of sheen, emulsified oil and actually streamers of the heavier product."
Gary Holland is making a documentary of the disaster in the gulf. He says "they go out in every which way; they branch out like tributaries from a river."
Brown and red rivers of oil are carving a path in the ocean. It’s the result of oil being leaked into the water for six weeks now.
Patterson explained, "light, sweet crude coming up from the bottom of the ocean, almost a mile down, so when it comes to the surface, it’s been distributed through that much of the water column."
Holland added, "Those plumes that we flew over, that they are trying to skim are actually 15 to 25 feet deep."
From a bird's eye view 2,000 feet above the heart of the oil spill-- right where the deepwater horizon sank-- you'll see dozens of ships working. There are rig ships digging relief wells, the drill ship-the Discovery Enterprise and also skimming vessels.
Holland said, "in comparison to what is out there and the massive size of it all, it just seems like little tiny toy boats in this massive catastrophe."
This is just a typical day out in the gulf now-- thousands of people working to clean up the oil that just can't seem to be stopped.