German Pac-Man ships eat oil for breakfast, so why aren't they in the Gulf?

The BP oil mess has brought out all kinds of wacky schemes for cleaning up that oil, but the Germans have been prepared for this type of thing for decades. Apparently designed by somebody who just finished an intense round of Pac-Man, the Bottsand class oil recovery ship literally splits in two to scoop up the polluted water.

Once collected, the ship then separates the oil from the sea water in its 790 cubic meter recovery tank, which is equivalent to about 5000 Barrels. While that may not be nearly enough for a spill the size of Deepwater Horizon, I say every little bit helps, and these ships could be particularly helpful for keeping the estuaries and harbors clear. The German Navy has two of the Pac-Man ships, but quite why they aren't already steaming for the Gulf right is anyone's guess.

Via Treehugger.com