Fundraising Efforts Taking Over in Irma-Ravaged Carribbean: More than a week has passed since Hurricane Irma, one of the most intense storms every recorded in the Atlantic basin, crashed through the Caribbean and the Florida Keys, leaving intense devastation in its wake. The hurricane caused significant damage to a number of superyachting hubs during its path of destruction. Islands such as Barbuda, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Maarten suffered extensive damage.
One of the venues that suffered extensive damage wa s The Bitter End Yacht Club, a popular resort on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Island, which was completely destroyed. The owners of the club have set up a relief fund to support Bitter End’s employees. The Virgin Gorda community is also raising money.
The popular chartering destination of Antigua had a different outcome as it is virtually unscathed. Alison Sly-Adams, Caribbean Sailing Association vice president indicated that the island’s boatyards, marinas, dock and anchorages are intact. She also indicated that YachtAid Global is a respect organization that will add in efforts at neighboring islands if you are willing to provide help.
Relief efforts have started in other areas of the Caribbean, such as St. Maarten, where Lucille Frye, BWA Yachting managing partner has noted that a coordinated response is being led by the Dutch Military and St. Maarten’s Disaster Emergency Manager. YachtAid Global is also responding to the situation. The island has moved into the recovery stage, which is where the yachting industry can offer vital assistance by carrying items to the island, in addition to offering donations.
BWA has also set up its own Fundraising site called Frye’s Ark to help the repurposed yacht Lorena, which is bringing supplies to the worst affected islands in the region. All of the marine infrastructure in St. Maarten and Barbuda, along with most of the vessels moored there, have been completely destroy.
Puerto Rico fared much better as it missed most of Irma’s fury. Marine infrastructure there is in overall good condition. The Dominican Republic also reported minimal damage.
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