Posted by: reefrescue | July 2, 2010

Keys dive operators fighting a losing battle

A Life on the Water, Drying Up

Published: July 1, 2010

Advance bookings for Capt. Pete Lacombe’s diving company are now nonexistent. His 28-passenger red-and-white boat mostly sits idle these days, sloshing in a marina, its life jackets dry as sand.

“I need 10 trips a week to make enough to survive,” says Captain Pete, as he is known. “Now I’m looking at none.”

Like many others, he has been saddened to discover that the consequences of the oil spill extend beyond the spill’s physical reach. Even without oil anywhere near where Captain Pete lives and works, tourists fearing that the spill could spread there are already holding back.

“It’s not just fishermen,” said Captain Pete, who is 45. “It’s dive boat operators, instructors, mates, the guys who fill up our tanks. This could be potentially devastating for all of us.”

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