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Help for victims of Hurricane Irma

by Daria Blackwell OCC and on 11 Sep 2017
A runway with Coast Guard helicopters responding to search and rescue calls resulting from Hurricane Harvey is viewed from the cockpit of a deployed Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Two Air Station Cape Cod Jayhawk helicopters and one HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed wing aircraft along with 19 crewmembers have been sent to support the search and rescue efforts. Lt. Cmdr. Simon Greene
Swaths of the Caribbean have been utterly devastated by Irma. The biggest storm in the Atlantic for a decade has affected 450,000, and for example. Barbuda is of course a sovereign State, so it will be getting no direct help from a larger country. Reports of looting, rioting and pillaging are also coming in.

Daria Blackwell continues to deliver real-time, up to date and factual information about how you can assist, even if it’s simply letting people in the area know what they can do. They’re collecting funds and co-ordinating efforts to send desperately needed supplies and aid to places that are difficult for relief efforts to reach.

Agustin Martin, OCC Port Officer in Gran Canaria, is organising collection of humanitarian relief supplies in the Canaries to be taken by yachts across the Atlantic from Europe. The ARC organisation is also on board, and the Caribbean 1500 has been approached. One of our members, Chris Russel, will be in the ARC, and will coordinate distribution on the ground from St. Lucia.

Suzanne Chappel is taking part in the Salty Dawg Rally to the Caribbean from the US, and is coordinating the same activities at that end. However, the base that Salty Dawg was going to in the islands has been destroyed, so they are trying to find an alternative destination for the Rally. Their Board is also considering how best to deploy the fleet once it reaches the Caribbean.

The greatest difficulty right now is obtaining water, food and building supplies to rebuild shelter. The devastation is total in Barbuda (all people have been evacuated), Anguilla, St. Martin, Virgin Gorda, Tortola, Nanny Key, Jost Van Dyke and others. The scale of destruction is like nothing anyone has dealt with before.

Sailors in Puerto Rico, St. Croix and Antigua have set up bases. Right now they are buying whatever supplies they can get hold of there and bringing them to the smaller islands by boat where the Navies of the US, UK, Netherlands and France are not getting to, and evacuating people on the return trip. However, supplies are running short in those islands. Unfortunately, Hurricane Jose is about to strike, so relief efforts will be hampered.

They are predicting that conditions for development of more storms will continue strongly. An early start toward the islands would be unwise, but if you can get to the Canaries to help with on the ground coordination, that would be great. Please do help spread the word among any sailors you meet who may be in a position to help.

More specifics:

Jonathan Robinson of Sea Mercy has informed us that their desalination units and communications equipment are already on their way to the Caribbean. Anyone with a water maker on board could be very helpful.

Sailors Helping has been established and is operating out of Puerto Rico. They are looking for volunteers and donations. To volunteer, or make a donation, visit the Sailors Helping website. Please note that whilst the comments above reference USVIs and BVIs, that’s not the limit of their focus. At the top of the wish list is a peace keeping group to evacuate large number of people at once from St Martin, where the reports of destruction and raiding have been extreme.To read the latest news, please see their Facebook page

“The islands DO NOT need direct cash, or clothes, first aid kits or baby supplies. They need cots to sleep on, tarps for shade, food and water, and building supplies. This is where we will be focusing our efforts.'

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Three Sheets Sailing is operating out of St. Croix in conjunction with Sea Boss. Please see Three Sheets Sailing and Yacht Sea Boss

Scott and Brittany Meyers of Windtraveler and Aristocat Charters have started this fund to provide immediate relief to the BVI....

YachtAid Global sent out a call to action for the Superyacht industry to collectively engage in relief efforts to benefit those who will be impacted by hurricane #IRMA, and those already impacted by tropical storm #Lidia in Mexico.

They are a good point of contact for those wishing to assist. Reach out to #YachtAidGlobal to find out when and where to leverage your assets and see their website for details.

Daria’s original article is here

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