Signs along Alabama coast warn against swimming

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) - White-and-red signs along the Alabama coast warn tourists that swimming is not advised due to the presence of oil-related chemicals.

But children and adults are still playing in the surf. And people are still walking along the shoreline, wearing shoes spotted with clumps of reddish-brown oil.

The Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau is giving daily updates on coastal conditions on a website and a YouTube channel. Tourism officials are playing up off-the-beach activities, like birdwatching and shopping.

A tourist from Cincinnati, Robert Chessey, says he didn't realize the true conditions until he arrived on the Alabama coast after a 12-hour drive. He said he's disappointed to see what the beach looks like. He also expressed sympathy for families that drive all the way to the beach and then have to tell children they can't go in the water.

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

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