Mother of children playing in oil-affected water: Only “when the bait fish are ALL dead, I’m not letting my kids in”

Defying warnings, swimmers still take to oiled Gulf waters, Miami Herald, July 4, 2010:

Pregnant women and young children were urged to avoid the beach, and the public was advised against swimming in general. …

The water has been affected by the oil. We know that… If you really want to go into the water, you’re welcome to do that.”

Later [the director of the state-run Escambia County Health Department] added: “It’s something like the surgeon general’s warning against smoking. Guess what? People still smoke.”

Waves were more of a worry than oil to Cindy Smith… “The water is fine — it’s a little rough, but it’s clean,” Smith said as two of her three children — Katlyn, 8, and Makayla, 12 — dried off from their Gulf swims. Added Smith: “I don’t feel greasy.” …

Neon-vested workers prowl the beach with shovels and pool-cleaning nets to scoop up tar balls and oiled sand, while larger machinery plows the beach through the night. …

Tricia Cash, an aerobics instructor in Olympia, Wash., watched as two of her children — Sophia, 10, and Nathaniel, 9 — played waist-deep in the clear surf near the city’s fishing pier. She saw the vague health warnings as overblown.

“You know what?” she asked. “If I still see these little fish alive, I’m OK. When the bait fish are all dead, I’m not letting my kids in.”

3 comments to Mother of children playing in oil-affected water: Only “when the bait fish are ALL dead, I’m not letting my kids in”

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