Katrina-Airboat Rescuers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Florida airboaters are still waiting to get paid for their Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts.

A group of 30 airboaters were promised pay for their rescue efforts by Tennessee-based Cat Five Disaster Services but haven't seen a dime. Collectively, they are owed 600-thousand dollars.

Florida Airboat Tours owner Dick Douse put out the call to fellow airboaters after Cat Five contacted him September first, three days after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. He was told that the highly maneuverable boats that skim the surface of the water were needed immediately.

Mike Linton, events coordinator for Cat Five Disaster Services, says he hasn't been paid, and until he is, he can't pay the airboaters he hired.

Cat Five hired 60 airboaters from Florida, Ohio, Alabama, Michigan and other states after receiving assurances he had a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA spokeswoman Denise Reed says the agency didn't have contracts with private companies for search and rescue missions after Katrina hit. Federal money was then sent to local agencies or governments, such as the state of Louisiana, which in turn paid any
contractors they hired.


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