33-year-old dead after two weeks working BP cleanup and swimming at Florida Panhandle beach

Gulf spill sickness wrecking lives, Dahr Jamail, March 9, 2011:

[Steven] Aguinaga and his close friend Merrick Vallian went swimming at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in July 2010.

"I swam underwater, then found I had orange slick stuff all over me," Aguinaga said. "At that time I had no knowledge of what dispersants were, but within a few hours, we were drained of energy and not feeling good. I've been extremely sick ever since." ...

... Vallian is now dead.

"After we got back from our vacation in Florida, Merrick went to work for a company contracted by BP to clean up oil in Grand Isle, Louisiana," Aguinaga said of his 33-year-old physically fit friend.

"Aside from some gloves, BP provided no personal protection for them. He worked for them for two weeks and then died on August 23. He had just got his first paycheck, and it was in his wallet, uncashed, when he died."

Obituary: Merrick Vallian, Houma Today, August 26, 2010:

Merrick “Big M” Vallian, 33, a native of Raceland and a resident of Larose, died at 8:10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23, 2010. ...

Samart-Mothe Funeral Home of Cut Off is in charge of arrangements.

7 comments to 33-year-old dead after two weeks working BP cleanup and swimming at Florida Panhandle beach

  • Its Me

    uh, why didn't we hear of this sooner. He died in August. What did they determine that he died of?

  • xdrfox

    Medical Examiner Autopsy report, the family has not spoke on ?

    His friend Aguinaga swam in orange stuff and is still sick, symptoms ?

    Help us out here Aguinaga !

  • Mud Shark

    I really wish people would not connect dots that aren't there. Show us where this guy died from working 2 weeks cleaning up the oil. At the very least tell us why he died. Not saying that he didn't die from that but there is NOTHING here showing any proof that he did. This kind of nonsense will only weaken credibility. The press will continue to run the other way if this is the stuff that people offer up as "proof". There is REAL proof out there. REAL people are suffering. If that's the case, state that fact and state it clearly for all the world to see. If it's not, then shut up.

  • monkey99

    hey sharkie- answer me this: why isn't the U.S. press going after this? when was the last time you heard any real in-depth reporting from the Gulf by mainstream media on American sand and soil? i, and a lot of folks, have a lot of serious questions about why this is.

    perhaps you also have some ideas as to why our president is on his knees to Bp and has barely whispered a mention about the Gulf since his little secluded dip in Florida back in August?

    it's obvious by your statement "if that's the case..." you have been pretty lax in your own research about the Gulf. in this article alone there are a number of reputable scientists doing the job the government should have been doing from day one.

    if it were up to me i would dig up this poor man's body and put it to the gulf crude/bp corexit test. where is the EPA? the NIH just barely piped up about this mess. why is it up to the people to "prove" their illnesses and deaths to you or anybody else? where is our government to help the people? please, answer us this.

    until then, it would be much appreciated that you take your own advice. thanks.

  • Freddo

    I'd like to read this and think there is some fact checking behind it to lend credibility. But the sources alone make me skeptical. For instance, the chemist, Bob Naman, who is cited so heavily in the article doesn't appear to be a very heavy-hitter when you look him up. See his LinkIn profile. He is the owner of the lab he works at, and he only holds a 4-year degree in chemistry. I would expect a chemistry expert being quoted for such a story to at least have a masters or doctorate in chemistry. Heck, some of the kids manning phone banks at call centers have chem degrees.

    This is the kind of stuff that makes people suspicious of these reports. Not saying it's not true. We would just like the reporter to dig a bit deeper, validate sources, and get the opposing view also.

  • monkey99

    Dear Freddo- you want an opposing view? just go hang out at the EPA or NOAA. if you can find some other sources willing to report on this disaster and its dastardly effects on the people, please post them here and we'll all do our part to egg them on with you. until then, you might want to do your own research and take a look at all the other people and creatures sick, dead and dying in the Gulf. sounds like you might think all these people are dillusional or hysterical?

  • Ali

    First, let me say it does not take a rocket scientist to put 2and2 together.

    Merrick, was immediately sickened after taking a swim in the ocean along with his best friend Aguinaga. They both came in contact with an orange slick substance. Merrick had more of this goo on him than Steve did. I know this for a fact I talk to Steve every other day. He is still suffering terribly, all systems have been effected.

    Everyone needs to remember that the death of this man is a tragedy and not a trial. No one needs to prove anything to anyone here. We are all on the same side.

    Please see the article from the website testtherain.com "Gulf of Mexico Synthetic or Not , A Shattered Visage, LIES! You won't believe what BP and the mad scientsts have been up to.


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