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Shrimpers taking 70 tons of supplies to Gulf Coast
Jason Ferrell
Posted on: Thursday, September 15, 2005

WMP 9 or higher required

FORT MYERS Two Fort Myers boats will set sail Friday morning bound for the Mississippi delta to deliver life-saving supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims. The boat the Equalizer is full of 75 tons of food, water and supplies headed to the mouth of the Mississippi. Each item donated is an example of shrimpers helping other fishermen get back on their feet.

Organizer Gary Burris says the donations are going to areas that were forgotten after Hurricane Katrina left her mark.

"Watching the news, I recognized they weren't talking about the lower bayous, food producers, the towns everyone was forgetting about," said Burris.

Burris found out those forgotten areas include Freeport, Mississippi.

"Under- served. They haven't been served at all in some places," said Burris.

He decided to fill up the decks of his boat to serve up life-saving help.

Last week, Burris sent word to fisherman along the banks of the Mississippi that support is on the way. It's his way of helping an industry that could really use some help right now.

"The ripple effect of the economics of the loss of the fisheries and what's happening to the oil wells to me is a ripple effect that can become a tidal wave that can take this country down if we don't do something about it," said Burris.

Equalizer Captain Mike Beecher knows the ripple effects all too well.

"Fuel has gotten to the point where we can't afford to go fishing anymore and the imports are killing us," said Beecher.

But the only imports this time are 17 tons of water, 7 tons of beans and rice, just about everything needed for an area that has nothing.

The Equalizer and the MV Diamond set sail Friday morning. They will be met at the mouth of the Mississippi and taken to the inner bayou. They plan to return in a week.

2005 by . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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