Washington: US President Barack Obama along with younger daughter Sasha have taken a dip in the oil slick-hit waters of the Gulf Coast, sending a powerful message that the disaster-struck region is back in business.
A White House picture showed a smiling Obama and Sasha swimming off Alligator Point in Florida, during the first family's mini-vacation.
“Oil is no longer flowing into the Gulf.... but, I am here to tell you that our job is not finished, and we are not going anywhere until it is,” Obama said. “I made a commitment in my visits here that I was going to stand with you... until you have fully recovered from the damage. And that is a commitment my administration is going to keep,” he said.
Obama also demanded BP speeds up compensation claims, saying that “any delays by BP or by those managing the new fund are unacceptable.”
Earlier this week BP made its first deposit in the $20 billion Gulf of Mexico oil disaster fund intended to compensate thousands hit by the largest maritime oil spill of all time.
During the height of the spill Obama had urged fellow Americans to take vacations in the region, famous for its sugar-white beaches, and heavily dependent on tourism.