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Captain devastated by oil slick commits suicide

By Greg Goodsell
June 26th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In a sign of the human toll that the Gulf of Mexico disaster has wrought, a despondent charter boat captain has taken his life. Devastated with the impact that the ongoing oil slick has had on his life and business, Allen Kruse, known to friends and family as "Rookie" committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot wound this week.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kruse had been hired by BP to help clean Gulf waterways and render them safe. Kruse killed himself on one of his boats.

"Most definitely a suicide," Rod Steade Sr., deputy coroner for Baldwin County, Alabama says. "No question about it."

Kruse sent two of his deckhands on an errand before killing himself. No suicide note was left, and none of his friends suspected he would resort to such desperate measures.

"He must have had his demons," said Captain Bryan Watts.

A charter boat fishing captain for 26 years, Kruse found his life and career threatened by the undersea oil gusher.

"The day that oil entered the Gulf, my phone quit ringing," he earlier told reporters in a television interview.Kruse told his family that he believed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had effectively killed his livelihood as well as the ocean.

"He just thought it was over," brother Marc Kruse says. "He said, 'the Gulf's dead.' ... There was no hope that the fishing was ever going to come back ... not in his lifetime."

"If he thought they were doing something that was working, that was effective, they were making a difference, yes, but every day there was a different meeting with a different plan," said brother Frank Kruse, referring to BP's program to enlist out-of-work fishermen.

Kruse had been hired by BP for their "Vessels of Opportunity" program. He worked for two weeks straight, his family says, but hadn't been paid.

His brothers said he told them that cleanup boats were put in the water close to shore, so people would think they were making a difference.

"It's just a dog and pony show," Marc Kruse says. "Send them out. Ride around. Let everybody see them. Bring them back in."

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