JANETVILLE -When he set out for the Gulf of Mexico during the recent BP oil spill, Janetville's Glenn Murray was a businessman.
He came back a humanitarian.
'I went down there to sell product and get my name known. I gave away $20,000 to $30,000 worth of product,' the president of Murrenhil Corporation told The Lindsay Post Friday.
The product is the ROC Barrier. The ROC stands for 'rapid oil containment'.
According to the company website, the ROC Barrier deploys rapidly at speeds of up to 54.7 kilometres per hour after an oil spill. The beginning of the film laminate is tossed from the back of any small watercraft creating a barrier around the forming oil slick or spill. As the film laminate lands in the water, the friction of the water holds it in place. While the watercraft circles the perimeter of the oil spill, the film laminate continuously streams from the dispenser to immediately contain and prevent the spill from becoming a run-away slick.
Murray says the oil finds the holes in the film laminate and it migrates to the the inside of the tube, with the tube becoming ever more buoyant as it fills up. It does not take on water, only oil, and the oil can be reused.
He said he had had success with the two-year-old product, listing Chevron as a client and saying he has 15 sales representatives in the USA and a few in Canada. The Toronto Harbour Commission has one. He said BP Alaska has said that if required, it will also use his product.
He was hoping to catch BP and the US Coast Guard's eye but didn't have much luck. The closest he got was a town hall meeting in Houma, Louisiana. All they were interested in was putting the product on a list to be tested. He said the Coast Guard had already put it on a list of products to use. He said he became disillusioned with the way that BP was calling the shots, including running the US Coast Guard.
'Really, oil never has to reach shore,' he said. He said if they had used the ROC Barrier, they would have contained the oil spill quicker and for a lot less money. He said other potential clients, such as marina owners, liked the ROC Barrier but thought BP would be buying it and supplying it to them.
Murray said he did make some sales, mostly to individuals or small businesses or clubs.
He also made contact with a tribe of people living in the Bayou, the AtakapaIshak Native American Tribe, donating his invention to them to protect their waterways.
He spent three weeks driving the length of the Gulf and witnessed first- hand the devastation.
He recalls meeting Cajun fishermen who didn't know what to do.
'It changed my mindset totally. I went down there to do a job but my heart opened up. I thought I would be selling product and making a name for myself but I just started handing it out. It was enlightening.'