(See J. DiRenzo III and J. Hull, pp. 28–33, August 2010 Proceedings)
William Thayer—It is very appropriate to discuss the lessons learned from the BP oil spill and response. Hopefully, this is the first of several articles, for while the authors discuss the organizational response and available resources, they do not discuss the technical response, which was critical. Here are some thoughts:
Managerial Failure. The crucial issue was to stop the leak at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. When BP finally installed its cap and plugged the leak, the problem ceased getting bigger and started to be resolved. If the problem was at the bottom of the gulf, then it was a managerial failure to put the Coast Guard, a surface force, in charge of the entire operation. What the United States should have done is have the Coast Guard in charge of surface operations and our best resource in charge of the seafloor operations. That resource is the undersea U.S. Navy and its associated elements, which were completely left out.