Sunbathers in Alabama Tolerate Beach Oil Cleanup
Tuesday is day 50 of the worst oil spill in U.S. history in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP contracted clean up crews to clean up oil debris as swimmers and sunbathers enjoy the sand and surf.
Adults and children played in the surf despite signs at the entrance to the beach advising beach-goers not to swim.
Sunbathers soaked up the rays next to piles of black, sticky tar mixed with seaweed.
School teachers Beth Boeckmann and Betty Latham debated for weeks before deciding to come to Gulf Shores on vacation.
[Beth Boeckmann, Teacher from Wynne, Arkansas]:
"I was a little disappointed when I came down and saw the oil pockets this morning on the beach. We arrived last night, and I assumed it was only seaweed. Being a native to the coastline, it was discouraging to see what is happening here."
[Betty Latham, Teacher from Wynne, Arkansas]:
"I feel like it's becoming a major disaster and it saddens me that this part of this country is becoming an oil slick, so I really hope that something is done quickly."
John Kambiss and his wife were in town for his niece's wedding on Saturday.
[John Kambiss, Gulf Shores Home Owner]:
"I wouldn't necessarily want to go into the water and get it all over myself, and I think there are probably related health issues that could come up later on."
The spill has been flowing unabated since April 20, when an explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon rig sank the drilling platform and killed 11 workers.
U.S. government scientists estimate between 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil a day have been pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, creating a disaster about twice the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.