BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Jay Trochesette, a charter boat captain, now works for BP's vessels of opportunity program to make ends meet. Trochesette talked with the head of the Department of Environmental Quality, Trudy Fisher, about being one of the first on the scene to spot the tar patties and emulsified oil heading into the Mississippi Sound.
"It's kind of kicking you in the stomach to see it, you know being here all my life. It was tough to see it that close," says Trochesette.
Fisher says a ribbon of emulsified oil, a mousse-like substance, was found between Ship and Horn island in an area called Dog Keys Pass.
"It is about 300 yards wide and seven miles long," says Fisher.
Large tar patties, according to Fisher, were also spotted south of Petit Bois Island toward the Mississippi/Alabama line.
"It's a field of different sizes of this congealed tar patty material. It's the peanut butter fudge like consistency," says Fisher.
According to Fisher coordinated efforts between DEQ, DMR, BP and the Coast Guard got going as soon as the discovery was made.
"The Coast Guard deployed a skimmer, a vos skimmer along with 50 vessels of opportunity workers. The vessel of opportunity workers were able to work with pom-pom boom and absorbent booms in that area.
While Fisher says every effort is underway to keep the oil from coming closer, the situation does present some sobering realities.
"With the scope the magnitude of what we're dealing with, they may not be able to get it all, but we're doing everything we can...BP, Coast Guard, state and local officials.
You can find a complete map of water closures on DEQ's website.