Brighton man talks about recent vacation to oily Gulf Coast

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

BRIGHTON, TN (WMC-TV) - The Gulf Coast is the vacation destination for hundreds of Mid-Southerners this time of year, but a Brighton family's trip was spoiled by the recent oil leak there.

"It's just like brown sugar with sand in it," says Brighton resident Billy Garrett, whose family recently returned from a vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Garrett brought one souvenir back from the Alabama gulf coast - a gallon size bag full of oil from an oily coast line.

"I felt like coming home and packing my bags and going back to help," Garrett said. "When we got out of the water, the kids had oil spots all over them, I had oil spots over me."

Garrett took pictures of the oil along the beach, where his son even found oil when digging a sand castle.

"He dug about a foot deep and brought his plastic shovel out and it's oily, and it's not just where you see it, it's in the sand as well," he said.

Garrett was disappointed because he did not see much effort being made to clean up the mess.

According to the Gulf Shores city web site: "We have been experiencing some significant oil impact across the island the last several days. While some stretches of beach are seeing less impact, others are experiencing greater amounts. Clean-up times seem to be improving. Mechanical beach rakes, capable of sifting even very small contaminates from the sand efficiently and safely, are now in use."

Garrett said his family plans to spend vacation money elsewhere until the oil along the coast gets cleaned up.

"I don't plan to go back," he said. "If I do, it'll be to the Carolinas. Won't be back to Florida.

There are daily updates of how the oil spill is affecting the Gulf Coast.

  • If you're planning a trip to the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area, click here.
  • If you're going to Pensacola, click here.
  • For more on overall clean up efforts, click here.

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