LAKE WORTH, FL. EAST COAST: A test of your seaworthiness was in your ability to climb up onto the flybridge with a drink in each hand. Unless you’ve stood at the helm on a flybridge, making way through the ocean, navigating the waves and searching the sea or the horizon for the pleasure of it or with the skill to determine where the fish are… well, it’s a lifestyle. One that rapidly vanishes in the southeaster seas of the United States. Perhaps it’s now that … it has vanished… no more pleasure boating. No more deep sea fishing, angling. No more dolphin spotting… oh hell no! Today a baby dolphin sought her refuge in the arms of shocked citizens on Pensacola beaches surveying the latest oil spoiling the beaches and died soon after. This is our ocean. This our sea. This is our heart…. and for one of us… a captain for twenty years, it was too much. Suicide was less painless, and so he climbed the ladder up to his flybridge with a gun and ate it. Fuck you BP … would be my best guess at a suicide note… but why bother…. the Alabama boat captain had the whole of the Gulf of Mexico for a suicide note to leave.
Our mettle is being tested. Mettle testing describes life now, all along the shores of LA, MS, AL, FL and I think it may be coming all the way ’round before it’s…..? There are those who say it may never be ‘over’ … capped. How do we cope? Today we live with the horror as a baby dolphin washes onto the Pensacola beaches and we learn about William Allen Kruse, a charter fishing boat captain … known as the “Rookie” for the last 20 years, “Rookie” the name of the vessel.
GULF SHORES, Ala. — A 55-year-old charter fishing captain preparing Wednesday morning to launch into another day’s work with the oil spill cleanup sent his crew members on an errand at a Fort Morgan marina and then, while they were within earshot, shot himself in the head, authorities said.
[But then, two months ago, the leaking BP oil well began pouring crude into the waters where he took families fishing for snapper and amberjack.
Two weeks and two days ago, with his fishing grounds closed, Kruse, 55, took a job working for BP’s cleanup crew. For the very people who’d caused the mess.
Other boat captains said Kruse, like them, found the effort confusing, overly bureaucratic and frustrating. He told them to keep their heads down, not to worry about the hassles. But those close to him saw he was losing weight.
On Wednesday morning, Kruse drove to his boat as usual. As the deckhands prepared for the day’s work, Kruse, as the captain, was supposed to turn on the generator. But after a few minutes, the crew members said, they didn’t hear anything and went looking for him. A deckhand found him in the wheelhouse, shot in the head.
‘Reality’s kicking in’The Baldwin County, Ala., coroner’s office called his death an apparent suicide and said Kruse didn’t leave a note. There’s no way to be sure why he would have taken his life. But his friends see the tragedy as a clear sign of the BP spill’s hidden psychological toll on the Gulf Coast, an awful feeling of helplessness that descends on people used to hard work and independence.
“We’re helping cover up the lie. We’re burying ourselves. We’re helping them cover up the [expletive] that’s putting us out of work,” said a 27-year-old deckhand who was working for Kruse on Wednesday and spoke on condition of anonymity. He said Kruse was facing the same problems as others in his business: “It’s just setting in with ’em, you know; reality’s kicking in. And there’s a lot of people that aren’t as happy as they used to be.”
Around the gulf, social service providers are dealing with a rising tide of mental health crises. Groups of Baptists are deploying extra chaplains in parishes along the coast. In southern Louisiana, where the impact was felt first, about 1,500 people have received counseling services from Catholic Charities.
From past disasters, such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, health experts say they expect a wave of physical health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. But they also expect more-subtle problems, as people absorb the spill’s impact on their lives: depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic issues.
“We’re seeing already an increase in suspiciousness, arguing, domestic violence. . . . We’re already having reports of increased drinking, anxiety, anger and avoidance,” Howard J. Osofsky of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans said during a two-day hearing this week on the physical and emotional impact of the spill.
Michele Many, a social worker who helps fishermen’s wives, said the stress of the spill is compounded by its uncertainty. Oil is still pouring out, spreading, with an unmanageable toxicity that evokes comparisons to disease.
“The oil spill is like a cancer or tumor,” said Many, who works at Louisiana State University. “It is creeping and unpredictable from whether people will have livelihoods or health issues later from helping clean it up. You just don’t know whether it is benign or malignant.”
In Lafitte, La., 200 hundred miles from the marina where Kruse died, Claudia Helmer heard about the suicide Wednesday afternoon.
“Oh, Lord,” she said. “That is really, really sad.”
And she immediately began to fret about her fisherman husband, Gerry, and their 19-year-old son, who were spending five days on the Gulf, helping clean up oil.] msnbc.com
If the monsters are coming, they might like a cool pitcher of Margaritas with the parrotheads. Jimmy Buffet has dedicated a July 1st free concert to helping out the Gulf Coast region … where his new Pensacola beach hotel, Marguriatville is located. There is no doubt about the dedication and love Mr. Buffet carries for the southeastern United States. His mettle is being tested too. His vessel is as oil soaked as are all the rest.
In the meantime, oil floods out from a mile below decks. Its despoiling the ocean… the whole big ole Mother / Father Ocean of mamma Earth. I’ve recently experience the dilettante mindset of this crisis online. The humidity is oppresive right now, even at night. Last night the humidity tasted slightly of petroleum. What with a half assed Health Care bill, a non-starter of a banking reform bill and now the atrocity of corporate greed and profiteering… we are definitely a ‘third world country’…. at least down here close the Conch Republic, we are. The bigger monsters strain to break free and join the ongoing nasty; the suggestion of a nuclear warhead to eventually plug the hole makes it seem to me, and so many like minded, that the government is just as stupid as we feared they were during Bush years. (oh how that hurts to utter)
These are our ocean babies. The children of our friends, a sailor’s friend. How can we allow this?