The AP reports today that the U.S.C.G. has given the A Whale until Thursday to prove itself as an effective oil recovery vessel. Apparently, it is just not performing as hoped. If it had been meeting expectations, there would be information coming from the company. Instead, Frank Maisano, a spokesman for the Taiwanese-owned ship, says the vessel's skimming and recovery operations have been hampered by 4' to 5' seas. This ship is about 1100' long and ten stories high. If it's operation is hampered by 4' to 5' seas it doesn't have much to offer over more maneuverable OSRVs less than a third of its size.
Let's hope the owners and operators of this vessel can rethink their attack plan and methodology to make this work. It's in the vicinity of the spill, so it should be in and around oil-polluted waters.
I wish they would try anchoring it and letting other skimmers and boom tenders bring the oil to it. Or they have to add massive pumps to suck the oil into the cargo hold.