Family members say the crew was working in an area recently reopened to fishing 40 miles south of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Royal reds live in extremely deep waters 1200 to 1800 hundred feet deep.
“And [the captain] made one drag, after 3 hours he pulled it up and he had a load of BP tarballs everywhere,” says boat co-owner Deborah Nelson. We first spoke with Deborah and her husband Johnny two months ago as they struggled to get their losses covered by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility – and they’re still struggling today.
“We put a six month claim in for $612,000, Feinberg sent us a check for $15,400 said that was our loss for six months,” says Nelson. The oil discovery complicates matters – putting their boat out of commission for an undetermined amount of time. Deborah says they’ve been calling the Coast Guard, BP and ADEM since Saturday but the mess remains.
“It hurts deep inside but my whole thing is this is our livelihood this is all he’s ever done and I’m trying my best to keep my cool so he’ll keep his cool,” says Nelson. This is one of the few times we’ve seen a fishing or shrimp boat come back with oil and people on this boat want to emphasize that this seems isolated and rare.
“It’s just one red royal deepwater bottom, it’s not inshore shrimp,” says Nelson. She says the crew had been shrimping for nearly a full week before making their discovery.