State opens hotline for damage to oil booms

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The state of Alabama is using a telephone hotline to accept reports of theft or damage to oil-blocking barriers called boom along the coast.

The Marine Resources Division said Monday there have been reports of boaters driving across the boom and cutting it since the material was put out to keep oil off the coast. Aside from allowing petroleum to damage areas if the Gulf oil slick gets near land, officials say loose boom could also be a danger to navigation.

The state has a 24-hour hotline that people can call to report boom that's damaged or stolen. The number is 251-476-1256.

Thousands of feet of boom are in waters off Mobile and Baldwin counties.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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