Divers prepare for damage from oil - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Divers prepare for damage from oil

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) -  Recreational diving is a vulnerable industry if the Gulf oil spill migrates to our area.

Dive boats, operating out of Palm Beach County, attract tourists and locals alike. But operators worry the loop current could bring the oil into the Gulf Stream which flows right along our coast. 

With typical southeast or east winds this time of year, the oil would head right toward our shoreline. "If it's just a sheen or slick, then with the Gulf Stream, it would clear out eventually," said Bill Walker, who operates a dive boat out of the Lake Park Marina. "If it's heavy sediment, heavy crude oil, it could solidify and drop on the reefs.  If it impacts the reefs, I mean that's our bread and butter."

Even if the reefs were spared major damage, Walker said there's already a perception.  "Yesterday [Wednesdasy], we had a call from somebody planning on coming down here in May," he said. "And they wanted to know if the oil's going to impact their diving in May."

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