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Entries in Fishermen (4)

Saturday
Apr202013

Coast Guard Search Continues for Missing Texas Fishermen

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The Coast Guard continues to search for four missing fishermen whose boat sank off the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday.

According to Petty Officer Richard Brahm, there were initially five fishermen on the 50-foot vessel, but only one of them was able to safely get into a life raft. He was picked up on Friday morning, having been spotted by the Coast Guard’s Falcon Jet.

The other four men are still missing, and the search continues as of Saturday afteroon.

“So far we've covered about two thousand square miles, which is a little bit smaller than the state of Delaware, and we're just going to continue searching,” Brahm said.

“We found some debris patterns; someone had clung on to any of those things,” Brahm explained. “That's the kind of thing we're looking for and so that also gives us a good pattern to follow for our search pattern.”

“The Coast Guard is always hopeful.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Fishermen in Washington

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- The Coast Guard suspended its search Sunday off the coast of Washington state for four men who were aboard a fishing trawler that sent out a distress signal early Saturday morning.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Shawn Eggert says helicopters, planes and a number of boats searched an area of about 640 square miles for 30 hours after the distress beacon led them to a debris field with an oil slick and an empty lifeboat.

Eggert said rescuers searched for the missing men longer than anyone could have reasonably survived in 12-foot-high seas and 46-degree water.  He said winds were blowing as strong as 70 miles an hour.

The Coast Guard has identified the men missing from the 70-foot fishing trawler Lady Cecelia as 22-year-old Luke Jensen, 25-year-old Chris Langel, 38-year-old Jason Bjaranson and 42-year-old Dave Nichols.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr192011

Gulf Oil Spill: Fishermen Say They Are Sick from Cleanup

U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, an army of fishermen, 10,000 strong, joined the cleanup effort. Today, almost a year after the spill, many say they are suffering from debilitating health effects that studies suggest are consistent with prolonged exposure to chemicals in oil.

An ABC News investigation found that many workers were told they did not need respirators -- advice BP received from the government -- and that no government agency tested the air the workers were breathing out at sea until a month after the spill.

BP continues to insist that "no one should be concerned about their health being harmed by the oil." In fact, BP says, "The monitoring results showed that the levels generally were similar to background conditions -- in other words, concentrations that would have been expected before or in the absence of the spill."

Tell that to Todd Rook, age 45, who says he had pneumonia four times in the last eight months and never once before the oil spill. Or to Malcolm Coco, 42, who says he has had blood in his urine and suffered from chest pains and memory loss.

BP hired fishermen as part of the Vessels of Opportunity Program, where they took their own boats out to sea to stop the oil before it hit the shore. There were more than 3,000 of these boats out there -- that's more than 10,000 proud fishermen riding through the oil, burning it, skimming it, laying down those booms, for hours and days -- sometimes weeks out at sea without coming home -- all to save their precious waters and livelihood.

And now they're speaking out for the first time, but they may just be the latest victims of oil spills. Only two weeks ago, a major study in the New England Journal of Medicine reviewed 26 studies from the eight biggest oil spills around the world. And in a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Gina Solomon, co-director of the Occupational and Environmental Health Program at the University of California, San Francisco says, "The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico poses direct threats to human health from inhalation or dermal contact with the oil and dispersant chemicals."

Respiratory symptoms aren't surprising to medical experts contacted by ABC News. In a 2002 spill off the coast of Spain, cleanup workers were twice as likely to have breathing problems as non-cleanup workers were. In another study, workers who worked more than twenty days on the oil were four times as likely to have breathing problems.

There are over 200 chemicals in oil, some more dangerous than others. One of them is benzene -- a Group 1 carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is in the same class as radioactive iodine, arsenic, and asbestos.

Dr. Michael Harbut, an oncologist who sees Gulf patients, said, "I think there's a fairly high likelihood that we'll see some increase in some cancers in some of the populations with exposure to the chemicals." Harbut is director of the Environmental Cancer Program at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Jan262011

Obama Reels In Salmon Regulation as Inefficient

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Atop President Obama's list of targets for a proposed overhaul of federal bureaucracy is the trio of agencies that has a hand in regulating the country's salmon catch.

"The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in freshwater, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked," Obama said of his "favorite example" of government inefficiency during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The president said he was developing a plan to "merge, consolidate and reorganize" the government to make America more competitive. He did not specify how the oversight of salmon fisheries might be streamlined.

Regulatory and wildlife experts said Wednesday that while the current arrangement might seem complicated or messy, the system serves a vital purpose and works just fine. Changing it, they said, wouldn't necessarily save money, and could cost taxpayers, at least in the short term.

As for fishermen themselves, they say government oversight by multiple agencies at different steps in the production line hasn't posed a problem -- and a change on paper wouldn't have a substantive effect on business.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio