Yachting industry organisations and charities including YachtAid Global and SeaKeepers have begun sending aid to the islands hit by Hurricane Dorian, and the flagship for this operation will be 47m/155ft Christensen motor yacht LOON, whose Owners and crew have already begun to take donations given as food, water, and sanitation and medical supplies to the affected areas.
Other luxury yachts have pledged their support to deliver volunteers and supplies in ‘Operation Topaz’, which has been set up by not-for-profit organisation YachtAid Global in collaboration with CBS Bahamas, NEMA, World Hope International and Sol Relief.
On the 5th of September Bradford Marine in Fort Lauderdale held a BBQ and pig roast to raise money, while the International SeaKeepers Society is still collecting donations ranging from baby formula and mosquito repellent to batteries and chainsaws, the final date for donations being the 20th of September.
Hope 4 Hope Town has already managed to raise more than $200,000 USD for its relief fund as its fleet of volunteer yachts prepares to leave for the affected areas.
One of the worst-hit regions is the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas, which received the full brunt of the Category 5 which remained over the archipelago for two days: Winds reached 185 MPH at landfall before it was downgraded to a Category 3 on August 3. Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco is already hosting an advance team that is ready to support large yachts coming in to dock.
M/Y LOON will follow the hurricane north and take with her disaster relief volunteers, vital supplies and the technology to pump ashore up to 300 gallons of drinking water per hour.
YachtAid Global reports that currently 44 yachts have joined the relief efforts to provide 425,000 lbs of aid made up of meals, hygiene kits, water filters, tarps, tools, chainsaws and gensets.
The winter yacht charter season will continue as normal in the Caribbean and Bahamas: After the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria the yachting industry has been more prepared this year and the fleet was moved to Nassau and the Exumas as a precaution.
Donations can be made to relief efforts via the YachtAid Global website, Hope 4 Hope Town, or through the Bahamas Red Cross.