With at least seven people already confirmed to have died and many more missing after the category five storm hit the North Bahamas and caused flooding and widespread damage to homes and infrastructure, YachtAid Global has been rallying the industry together to help provide immediate relief for those affected.
Reports suggest that as many as 13,000 houses on Abaco Islands have been severely damaged or destroyed in the flooding, yet Bahamian officials have said it is far too early to asses the full extent of the damage.
While the storm has now been downgraded to category two, a life-threatening surge of up to 23 feet and wind gusts of over 200mph were reported. 100% of donations made to YachtAid will help provide relief to people impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the form of emergency supplies such as food, tarps, hygiene kits and medicine, in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents.
YachtAid Global is also working with yachts in the region to co-ordinate support, while working closely with its NGO partner organisations that are deeply rooted in local communities and are best positioned to provide long-term support for survivors of natural disasters. To date, it has raised more than $10,710.
One such yacht on its way to the Bahamas with disaster relief specialists and aid on board is the 47m/155FT Christensen motor yacht Loon. Skippered by Captain Paul Clarke, the yacht will transmit images and video from the affected areas as part of the disaster response, which is vital for the Bahamas MENA (National Emergency Management Agency) to support them in response to decision-making.
“We are stocking up Loon with as many supplies as we can carry and will be departing Nassau as soon as it is safe to do so,” a post states on the vessel’s Instagram page.
Below Deck crew members also spearheaded relief efforts, as former chief stew Adrienne Gang bravely navigated her boat toward the Bahamas, loaded with supplies. On Monday, 2nd September, she tweeted: “We are set for a 12pm arrival at Emerald Bay. The ride was uneventful. We went south to Cuba and cut under the storm. No damage yet but I’ll keep you posted as I can as we head north. Our plan is to depart Georgetown & head up the Exumas ending in Nassau by Saturday.”
Another helper is Captain Gary Dezarn, who has set up a GoFundMe account for building materials and supplies for the trip to the Abaco Island that is expected to set sail tomorrow. He is also looking for three crew members to help, as well as other yachts, boats and barges to help distribute the supplies.
Hurricane Dorian is slowly moving away from The Bahamas to the north, but still threatens the eastern US seaboard.
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Picture credits: Instagram/YachtAidGlobal, Pixabay, Husen Siraaj and Ishan SeeFromTheSky at Unsplash