The film director who created an idyllic unspoiled world in the movie Avatar will meet with deep-ocean experts Tuesday in Washington to pitch ideas about how to stop the ugly oil spill now spreading in the Gulf of Mexico.
James Cameron is expected to attend the meeting with fellow Canadian Phil Nuytten, an underwater innovator and the head of North Vancouver-based Nuytco Research.
It’s not known what the two swashbuckling Canadians – who first met when Mr. Nuytten’s company, Nuytco Research, built the submersibles used in Mr. Cameron’s 1989 underwater thriller The Abyss – will bring to the discussion.
But as the environmental disaster in the Gulf continues to unfold, it seems the idea behind the session is to put every possible solution – including use of manned submersibles – on the table.
“This is not about undermining or finger-pointing at [British Petroleum],” Jeff Heaton, Nuytco’s long-time chief pilot and the veteran of dozens of salvage and research dives in manned submersibles, said Tuesday in Vancouver.
“Everybody’s working hard and it’s not for lack of trying that [the spill] hasn’t been stopped.
“It’s about looking at all the what-ifs – if this fails, if that fails, what happens.”
With the failure of the so-called “top kill” effort to plug the leak with mud, BP has moved on to a plan that involves cutting and removing a damaged part of the crippled Deepwater Horizon drill rig and putting a cap over the cleanly cut pipe. If successful, that approach would help stem the flow of oil while the company drills two relief wells, which are expected to be ready some time in August.