Head of Gulf Coast Restoration talks about Vessels of Opportunity - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Head of Gulf Coast Restoration talks about Vessels of Opportunity

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BP announced improvements to the "Vessels of Opportunity" program Tuesday. The company said it's increasing the use of local, in-state vessel sourcing. They will also be focusing more on using commercial and charter boats.

The new man in charge of Gulf Coast Restoration, Bob Dudley, said the vessels of opportunity are an important part of the oil spill clean up effort. We asked him about skimmer boats and why we didn't see more of them sooner.

"By the end of this month, we should almost double the amount of skimmers in the Gulf. We've got them coming in from overseas, we've ordered them, you have some new ones coming in to Mississippi that are new vessels as well," Dudley told WLOX News. "one of the things that we are going to learn from this spill, globally, is that skimmer technology is way behind, both in numbers and capability. And there is no question, we've had some gaps in this."

Bob Dudley also spoke about his new position helping manage BP's response to the Gulf oil leak. He said he has a personal stake in the future of the Gulf Coast. Dudley grew up in Hattiesburg, but said every summer he lived on a boat in Gulfport and Biloxi's harbors. He also spent most of his time here on our barrier islands.

"This is very personal for me. It is devastating. It would be easy to say it's overwhelming; That's not what people need to hear or see. I am going to continue to marshal lots of resources to that. I am terribly sorry for the stress that people are going through. This is going to take some time to heal and I think the viability of the company, combined with the commitment all the way up through the management of the company, is key to the solution here."

Dudley also reiterated that BP is financially and morally committed to the Gulf Coast's complete recovery from the devastating spill.

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