The Pensacola Journal has a Gulf spill story from June 26th that has had only a smattering of attention by the mainstream media, from which at least one report was taken down shortly after it went up. We know that Captain Allen Kruse took his life aboard his own boat while working for BP, using his own craft to clean up the spill. What we haven’t heard is that BP and their pathetic response to the clean up, their treatment of those working for them, and inane processes to get paid so the family can eat, is perhaps the bigger story. The beautiful beaches of Pensacola are now black with oil. The second video below is a local filming the waters, churning and bubbling as though they contain “acid.” When he turns and walks toward the beautiful sugar sand beach, I had to ask, where are the photos of this.
The other story is that the White House is nowhere to be found, other than threatening BP just before a round of golf. The press is not allowed in the area now, so what will we not know? Residents are in need of counseling. Churches have added prayer times. And then there are conjectures that Kruse’s death was not suicide. The coroner has only said it is “likely” a suicide. Kruse left no note behind.
A charter boat captain for 25 years, Allen Kruse, 55, left behind a wife and three children. I don’t know how he thought his death might help his family. But all that aside, Tracy Kruse says he told her he had to “get out of this. I can’t take it.”
About 7 a.m., after a BP training meeting, he climbed into the wheelhouse of his 46-foot charter boat and ended his worry, his frustration and his anger with a single bullet to the head.
“Nothing was easy working with BP. Everything was hard, and it consumed him. He wasn’t crazy,” said his wife, Tracy, 41, sitting outside the couple’s home in Foley on Thursday.
“He’d been a charter boat captain for 25 years, and all of the sudden he had people barking orders at him who didn’t know how to tie up a boat to a pier. I think he thought, ‘I’ve got to get out of this. I can’t take it.’ “
Mrs. Kruse said the paperwork to file a claim to be paid for his time was overwhelming. One invoice was 52 pages, and once a claim was completed, she says it was difficult to get it to BP. He had lost 30 pounds and wasn’t sleeping.
American Everyman says BP owed Allen Kruse $70,000 [also reported in the Washington Post article below], and this blog appears to have been following this story closely, including watching and reporting on the media-scrub.
The Washington Post quotes a Kruse employee:
“We’re helping cover up the lie. We’re burying ourselves. We’re helping them cover up the [expletive] that’s putting is out of work… “
A spokesman for the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans said angst and domestic violence is rising in the area, including increased drinking. A social worker who “helps fishermen’s wives said:
The oil spillis like a cancer or tumor. It is creeping and unpredictable from whether people will have livelihoods or health issues from helping clean it up. You just don’t know whether it is benign or malignant.
Oil is still pouring out, spreading, with an unmanageable toxicity that evokes comparisons to disease.
Another fishing boat captain, Tom Ard, told the Washington Post everyone looked up to Kruse, who was known as “Rookie,” after the name of his boat. He believes Kruse had no hope that any cleanup would work:
His quote to me was, ‘Don’t try to rationalize it…just sign you name and get on your boat, and don’t try to tell anybody how to run the program, and don’t try to tell ’em what the local knowledge is….the point was The cleanup is hopeless, and you’ll just tire yourself out trying to improve the situation.
The two men agreed it was like being in prison. Churches in the area are offering daily prayer and Masses
Tracey Kruse said in the minutes when her husband was preparing to shoot himself in the head, she does not believe he was thinking of his family, and she didn’t think he was thinking of suicide. A friend of Mr. Kruse’s said he passed the Captain as he left the BP Captain’s meeting, and Kruse “had a look of horror” on his face.
In the first video below, you’ll hear an interview with Allen Kruse, and how the area has survived hurricanes, and tropical storms, yet residents knew they would get past it. Today the future is murky, or worse. Many question if there can be future for these areas where most make their living by tourism and the seafood industry. Take a look at the beach pic above. How often have we seen that? I thought tarballs in Pensacola were the problem. See more of Pensacola beach in the second video. The narrator, apparently a local, ends with “God help us all.