May 21, 2010 8:49 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Broussard Resident Helps Bird in Venice

The Crude Disaster gives one Acadiana resident a fishing trip she won't soon forget. Broussard resident, Windy Maitreme saw firsthand what the oil is doing to Louisiana's coast.

"It's devastating to see the oil, merky brown... You can definitely see the oil in the water. As far as we could see the oil was everywhere and the waves were pretty bad so we were getting sprayed with oil on the boat," Maitreme said.

Maitreme was on her family's annual fishing trip in Venice Sunday morning. She had been wanting to volunteer in the clean-up efforts in the Gulf, but couldn't find time in between working two jobs.

" I felt guilty about being out here for a fishing trip and not really having the time to volunteer," Maitreme said.

Little did she know her family would soon come across a Northern Gannett in need. Maitreme says the bird was just 15 miles off shore. It swam to their boat seeking help, exhausted from fighting the oil.

"It's definitely bitter sweet, I hate to see an animal in distress, but I was glad to help. Someone else may have passed it up, but that wasn't an option for me and my family, " Maitreme said.

Maitreme's family helped the oily bird on board and in the process, it bit the boat's captain.

"He was not to happy about it... But he was excited to see the bird, we're just thankful we had such a good captain," Maitreme said.

They gently wiped the bird with a towel and placed it in the boat's dry box where Maitreme says the bird fell asleep. When they came ashore they contacted Wildlife and Fisheries who took the gannett to Fort Jackson to properly clean it. And, as for they Maitreme's fishing trip...

"We didn't do too bad we caught three fish but the trip was cut short... but it was well worth it. I was glad we would be a part of the clean up."



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