Underwater Expeditions (UE) has a high degree of concern for the safety of our customers and the enormous degree of misinformation being spread on this message board leads me to post information which will hopefully clear up some of the issues. My name is Donna J. Phillips and I am currently serving as Operations Manager of UE Freeport; it is in this capacity that I would like to address these recent events and explain my decisions. First let me assure you that UE’s concern for the safety of our customers is foremost. UE management, staff, and crew alike actually do care for each and every one of our customers and that is the very reason that we refuse service to anyone clearly deemed to be at abnormal risk. I believe that we absolutely have an obligation to act prudently when we become aware of individuals whose lives are clearly threatened by the extreme conditions that can exist in off-shore fishing. Additionally, when one person develops a condition which requires a coast guard evacuation, the entire group of passengers, captains, and crew, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, face a host of additional risks related to such evacuation. To clarify this specific situation, the customer who was denied access to the boat, in my opinion, has not been entirely candid in his statements regarding UE’s recent refusal to allow him to fish on the Big E. The individual posting comments, “Snagged”, was never told that he was being denied access to the fishing trip due to age but was specifically told that the reason he could not take this trip was due to his health condition. The individual, on two separate occasions over the past two years, experienced medical conditions requiring Coast Guard helicopter evacuation from the vessel. In addition to putting “Snagged” at risk, these evacuations presented potential hazards to the vessel’s crew, the vessel’s other passengers, and the members of the Coast Guard rescue team. While UE is truly complimented by the fact that “Snagged” thinks so highly of the Big E and UE’s services to apparently become irate by our refusal to allow him to board the vessel for yet another offshore trip, UE simply cannot accept the potential risk to it’s crew and other passengers. It is unfortunate that “Snagged” failed to identify himself to UE as a passenger on our latest trip until two days before the trip’s departure. As “Snagged” is aware, he was notified of our decision within hours of our learning that he intended to be a passenger. To have provided any other answer would, in my opinion, have clearly been negligent behavior, affecting the safety of both this individual and all others aboard the vessel. UE is committed to providing the finest and safest fishing experience in the entire Gulf Coast to all of its guests and will not stray from these commitments. Finally, please note that there seems to be a huge “mob-mentality” taking place here. In our defense, please understand that all of UE’s owners, employees and crew members are Texas Gulf Coast residents who thoroughly enjoy fishing with others who love the sport. We understand your concern for your fellow fisherman and we are likewise sorry for his medical condition. We are, however, surprised that “Snagged” has shown so little concern for the potential effect his condition might have on his fellow guests and the vessel’s crew. For those of you who can understand our responsibility to protect both the individual fisherman and the group as well, we will always welcome you aboard!