The 'A Whale' World's Largest Oil Skimming Ship Arrives In Gulf
The A Whale Skimmer Arrived Wednesday Awaits Safety Testing Before Being Deployed
The A Whale skimmer arrived Wednesday night in the Gulf of Mexico. The A Whale skimmer is docked in Boothville, Louisana, outside New Orleans being tested before it is deployed. The A Whale stands 10 stories high is about length of 3 1/2 football fields.
Frank Maisano, a spokesman for ship owner TMT shipping, said it is still awaiting approval to join the effort. Allen said the vessel -- estimated to be able to skim up to 21 million gallons a day -- is awaiting testing. That capacity is at least 250 times the amount that the modified fishing boats currently conducting skimming operations have been able to contain, the company says
The A Whale was built just in 2010 at South Korean shipyard. It was built as the world's largest cargo or container ship but after the Gulf Oil Spill, the shipping company TMT had it modified as an oil skimmer.
We're anxious to find out how effective it will be," Allen said. He cautioned that the area of the slick in which the ship will be most effective is a "congested" site above the ruptured BP well, which could make it harder to operate the 1,000-foot-plus vessel, but added, "Anything that's effective we're looking forward to using.
The arrival of The A Whale Skimmer comes on the same day that the BP oil spill officially became the largest oil spill in the history of the Gulf of Mexico.