Vessel of Opportunity program operating efficiently - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Vessel of Opportunity program operating efficiently

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - BP's Vessels of Opportunity program has shifted into high gear and is now operating more efficiently than ever before. That's according to people who run the program.

WLOX NEWS had a rare chance to go to work with one of the vessels of opportunity crews working to keep oil from reaching our shores.

He's called Captain Van, a title Van Huynh earned long before ever becoming part of BP's Vessels of Opportunity Program.

"I was born and raised up in a fishermen family back home. In Vietnam, when I was young, I grew up on an island. I love water. I got attached to it," said Huynh.

The 25-year veteran fisherman is proud of his 48-foot shrimp boat, "Vincent", which now plays a key role in BP's Vessel of Opportunity program.

"I'm happy like any other fisherman to become the talk of the VOO. Because our point is to go out here put our hand in there to clean up all the oil."

Huynh says since he first joined BP's Vessels of Opportunity program he has worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week and loves every minute of it.

"If we see any oil on the surface in our area either we scoop it up, we boom it up what ever it takes to clean that stuff up."

Captain Van is one of five team leaders who over-see a fleet of 26 boats, sometimes even more. BP said Huynh is a great asset.

"When we were having the classes to get into the program he helped with the translations and was really helpful in reaching out to the Vietnamese community," said BP Public Affairs Lisa Houghton.

Captain Van works these waters with two deck hands aboard, including his nephew. They all have one mission, to help BP clean up the oil, so they can get back to fishing.

"Do what we love to do," said Huynh.

There are more than 500 vessels of opportunity working in Mississippi waters. Captain Van's crew worked in Hancock County waters near Cat Island.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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