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I have a house at Dauphin Island, a barrier island 30 miles south of Mobile, Alabama. My next door neighbor owns a charter fishing boat. During a regular summer week, the boat will be chartered five to seven days. Of course, this is not turning out to be a regular summer …

When the bad news about the oil spill broke, he was expecting the worst. The season is just getting underway, and he was already getting cancellations. Ten days ago he called me after attending a meeting with BP and was very upbeat. BP was going to "hire local." The charter boats would be laying boom and skimming for oil, working as much as they could man crews for. BP reps had gotten contact information for each boat owner, as well as information on their boats. Individual contracts would be negotiated asap.

Three days ago he called me. The good news – boats are working around the clock. The bad news – the only local involved is the policeman who manages traffic at the BP staging dock. No local charter boat owner has even been called by BP, let alone hired. A quick survey of license plates up and down the street revealed that Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina and New York are apparently considered "local" by BP.

Come on, folks – hire Dauphin Island Boats. Hire Bayou La Batre boats. Hire Mississippi and Louisiana boats. I wish your deployment department was as efficient as your PR department. Or were y’all even serious when you made the promise …

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for harriett lofton

    what happen to background checks in bayou la batreOne time on tv.What happen they found to many felony.Or is it just much trouble,I guess they have rights too.I think it a shhame they have more rights than we ,hire local,hire our charter boat fishman.We need the money to stay in mobile

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