Where the world runs out of road and into bayou, and all that is left beyond is the Gulf of Mexico, dozens of docked shrimp boats bob in place. They should be out right now, green nets trawling for cash in crustaceans.
Among these many boats — actually, between the Capt. Andy and the Capt. James — there rocks the St. Martin. And on the St. Martin, there lives its owner, a Vietnamese-born American named Thuong Nguyen, whose right forearm bears a tattoo that says, in his native language:
“Life is difficult.”
Read the full New York Times story here.
An offshore oil rig leased by a multibillion-dollar corporation exploded nearly two weeks ago. Which, in addition to killing 11 workers, ruptured a well.leading to an ever-mushrooming oil slick. Now fishing in the country’s most fecund fishing grounds has been halted from the Mississippi River to Florida’s Pensacola Bay, for at least 10 days.
Several days ago, Mr. Nguyen learned of the large event disrupting his small world, an event that has denied him those offshore moments that fulfill him. He has no high school degree, no other training: hauling shrimp is what he does.
He says he understands that oil is essential; it fuels his boat. What he doesn’t understand is the delay and uncertainty, as shrimp boats remain tethered. “The company don’t have a right answer,” he says. “And the government don’t have a right answer.”
On Friday, Mr. Nguyen went to a meeting at a local school that focused on how to clean up hazardous materials.
On Saturday, he attended another meeting, this one held by the corporation whose accident has made his difficult life more difficult. He received a piece of paper saying that, according to the “BP Gulf of Mexico Operations,” he had completed all requirements for “GoM Spill Response Efforts” — should his services be needed.
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