BP helping local boaters find work

(source WBRC video)
(source WBRC video)

By Arielle Clay

MOBILE, AL (WBRC) - BP is turning to boaters in south Alabama and the Gulf Coast to help deploy shoreline protection in advance of the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP announced the plan during a news conference Sunday in Mobile, Ala. BP representatives said they were focusing their shoreline efforts on places where the oil could have the greatest impact and are trying to find people willing to help with the protection efforts.

"We are actively engaging our vessel of opportunity program, trying to find people with boats who can help us put down our booms," said BP's Jeff Childs. "We want to get them trained make sure they can do it in a safe manner and get them out as soon as the weather clears."

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Sunday the growing oil spill is not expected to reach the Alabama coastline until at least Wednesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also banned fishing 20 miles and beyond the northern Gulf Coast where most of the oil is concentrated.  That's bad news for Alabama fishermen who face devestating financial losses from the oil spill.  The fishermen welcome any opportunity to help BP keep the oil away from the shore.

"That's all we are going to be able to do because with the oil and everything it's all going to be gone and it will take years to come back," said Russell Collier.

"They've took our livelihood from us," said Maurice Ryan. "I think we should have been some of the first people offered to work."

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