Monday, September 05, 2005

Time Running Out

So reports CNN:

Time is running out for thousands of people awaiting rescue six days after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, rescuers say.

Officials say they do not have the manpower, the resources or enough time to save everyone.

"My guys are coming back and telling me, 'Sir, I went into a house, and there are three elderly people in their beds, and they're gasping, and they're dying,' " Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Jones said.

"And we got calls today, 'We need you ... to go to a place in St. Bernard Parish. It's a hospice, ... and there are 10 dead and there are 10 dying.' But those people were probably alive yesterday or the day before."

Though pilots, rescue crew members and maintenance workers are red-eyed and exhausted, they're refusing to rest, CNN's Karl Penhaul reported.

For every person plucked from the flood, there are hundreds still waiting, rescuers say. (Watch a report on rescue efforts -- 3:10)

"There's simply not enough resources," Jones said.

"It's an awful feeling to know you've not got everybody in time," rescue swimmer Chris Monville said. "You're trying to get everybody out. But in these temperatures the weak and the sick expire first, and it tears at your heart."

Monville said he has rescued 126 people in a single day.

This is terrible if true. What about employing volunteers who have the necessary skills? What about asking foreign nations for their teams trained in similar rescues? Are we really this short of personnel that we are going to let people die? Where are all the skilled rescue teams?