Sunday, August 8, 2010

Underwater oil covers swimmers

Cary Chow
Photojournalist: Robert Brown

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) - Directly to the east of Dauphin Island Bridge is an area known as Little Dauphin Island. Bayou La Batre resident John Gray and his family were trying to relax there, when they found themselves covered with oil.

"You couldn't see it on the surface at all, but once we got in the water about waist-deep, we started getting it on our feet and our knees and all over us," said Gray. "It was like peanut butter. Real thick."

Martha Harrison of Irvington added, "It was real big clumps of oil and really stunk like a used oil, like you just had the oil changed in your vehicle."

Gray, a former member of BP's Vessels of Opportunity program, said he's not surprised to see oil on Little Dauphin Island.

"For 2 to 3 months, we've watched them spray the dispersant on it and it's causing the oil to sink and when it sinks, we can't do anything with it."

Gray is also a commercial fisherman who may have lost as much as $50 thousand this year because of the oil spill. He's worried the seafood in the area could still be tainted.

"I don't know how they're going to take care of this, if you can't see it, what you gonna do about it?" he said.

A federal report released this week states about a quarter of the nearly 207 million gallons of oil spilled remains in the gulf.

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