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Jul 13, 2010 7:10 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Vessels of Opportunity Classes in Cameron

Fishermen and boaters in Cameron have built their lives around the city's coastal waters, but now many have to shift their focus further into the gulf.

Ben Welch, owner of Airboats and Alligators, said there are a lot of local fishermen who are worried about what's going to happen.

Two-hundred and sixty people have signed up for the Vessels of Opportunity Program in Cameron. Commercial fisherman, Adley Dyson, was one of the first.

He said, "I'm glad to have something to do and still be on my boat. That's the main thing. I don't know how long I'll be on this boat."

Dyson fears that after forty years of fishing, this year will be his last.

"My father did it and his father did it and I like doing it," he said.

Ben Welch also signed up for the Vessels of Opportunity training. He usually takes tourists on air-boat rides, but his boat hasn't touched the water for a month now.

"I'd much rather go to work than sit at home and do nothing," Welch said.

Training will be at the Cameron Parish School Board starting tomorrow. There are four classes over the course of two days. They will focus on boating safety and wildlife rescue.

"This is getting us ready in case oil comes here because if it comes then it'll be too late," Welsh said.

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