Oil cleanup boats recalled after crews fall ill
The move raises questions about the safety of the cleanup operation in and around the Gulf in Mexico.
Thu, May 27, 2010 at 04:49 AM
SICK: Crew members aboard three separate vessels reported nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
All 125 commercial fishing boats helping oil recovery efforts off Louisiana's Breton Sound area have been recalled after four workers reported health problems, officials said.
The crew members aboard three separate vessels "reported experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains" mid-afternoon Wednesday, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
"No other personnel are reporting symptoms, but we are taking this (recall) action as an extreme safeguard," said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Robinson Cox.
The move raises questions over the safety of the cleanup operation in and around the Gulf in Mexico, in particular the protection workers have been given as they mitigate the oil, and the toxicity of the controversial chemical dispersants being used by BP in an attempt to break up the slick.
One of the workers had to be evacuated by air ambulance to a nearby hospital for treatment, another followed by boat and the other two were transported by ground, the statement added.
Safety officeres for BP along with U.S. officials with the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency are investigating the incident.
A ruptured well from BP's sunken Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig has spewed millions of barrels of crude over the five weeks, encroaching on prized southern U.S. coast wetlands and wildlife preserves, as well as billion-dollar fishing and tourism destinations.
Copyright 2010 AFP American Edition