Oil spill support boats recalled in Gulf of Mexico

Fishing boats that have been helping in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster have been recalled following reports that crewmembers have been falling ill

In the latest twist in the saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the entire fleet of commercial support boats has been recalled following reports that crewmembers have been falling ill.

According to The Telegraph, crewmembers aboard three separate vessels have reported dizziness, headaches and chest pains.

Robinson Cox, the US Coast Guard chief petty officer, said, “No other personnel are reporting symptoms, but we are taking this (recall) action as an extreme safeguard.”

Aside from the commercial vessels, private boatowners have also been called upon in recent weeks to help with the clean-up operation.

The move to recall these commercial vessels raises questions over the safety of the workers that are helping to clean up the oil slick that resulted from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20. There are particular concerns over the toxicity of the chemical dispersants being used by BP to break up the slick.

Yesterday BP initiated a new procedure, known as ‘top kill’, which will attempt to ‘plug’ the ruptured oil rig by pumping large quantities of mud into it.