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Gulf oil spill: First round of fishermen trained, to be deployed

May 1, 2010 | 11:16 am


SpillmapSt.  Bernard Parish officials announced midday Saturday that training of fishermen to deploy protective booms is nearly complete, and the men will soon be working to protect St. Bernard’s coastline from the drifting oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that has been spewing 5,000 barrels of oil daily into gulf waters since last week's accident.

The first phase will allow fishermen to work alongside BP contractors to place protective measures in St. Bernard as part of BP’s Vessel of Opportunity Program.

More training is planned. The training is specifically for St. Bernard fishermen.

Officials asked that any local commercial fisherman who can assist sign up with St. Bernard Parish government at at the Contact Us button on top of the website.

Please include the following information: Vessel name, Owner/Captain name, Contact Number or e-mail if available, Length of Vessel, Horse Power and Draft.

Officials wrote:

St. Bernard Parish will send this volunteer list to British Petroleum for the Vessel of Opportunity program which may hire locals to help with the spill. Additionally, it will be kept for St. Bernard Parish for any secondary response efforts.
If you have difficulty sending through the website, you may send the information to

St. Bernard officials stressed that the drinking water supply is safe because the parish’s intake is far inland on the Mississippi River. State regulators also assured parish officials that smells should not be harmful.

Current projections show that the oil should reach the Chandeleur Islands and the outer edges of the Biloxi Marsh by Sunday. BP laid down some booms Saturday in St. Bernard waters, after efforts the day before were stymied by tidal and weather conditions.

-- Geoff Mohan

Photo: Latest projections of oil slick movement. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.