MPT COO, Ted Morley helping in the Bahamas.
September 1, 2019 saw one the most intense tropical cyclones in history make landfall in the Bahamas causing the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Maximum sustained winds were 185 mph and gusts were well over 200 mph, the storm stalled over the Bahamas and the islands were battered by the unrelenting winds and catastrophic weather impacts for over 24 hours. In the Bahamas Dorian left at least 70,000 people homeless, 61 official deaths recorded with hundreds more still missing, and over $7 billion in property damages.
The maritime industry responded, helping to arrange and transport aid to islands ranging from Grand Cay to Hopetown. Supplying vital supplies and helping restore not only power, but hope, to the Bahamian people. Aid groups from around the world are working in the region but there remains so much still needed to do.
Here we are 3 months later, and while the devastation has faded from the news many have asked for an update on conditions over there. MPT Chief Operations Officer, Capt. Ted Morley, has been spending most weekends over in the Abacos as a volunteer helping on the ground as well as helping to fly supplies in and carrying larger heavy cargo over on his sportfish “Reelentless”. Having just returned to Fort Lauderdale on December 1st after making an 8-day trip carrying over 10 tons of building supplies, food, medical supplies, and fuel to Man O War and several surrounding Cays, Ted offered the following update.
“We loaded lumber, windows, roofing materials, small appliances, fresh vegetables and frozen foods, tools, gasoline, propane cylinders, and diesel fuel onto Reelentless for our final trip this year from Fort Lauderdale to the Abacos. We have been focusing on the smaller islands and helping specific families to get supplies directly into their hands. Samaritan’s Purse has been very active on Man O War Cay; while we were there, we were able to work with local groups to install roofs on several structures and help clear debris as many homeowners are trying to get things back to normal. Doing our part to help our friends there and seeing the determination in the eyes of the residents is very rewarding work. Folks there were very appreciate and loved seeing the boat there with the large US and Bahamian flags flying high from the outrigger. I’m sure Viking never imagined using a sportfish to haul tons of freight, but mine came through virtually unscathed and did an amazing job delivering aid directly to the residents.
I encourage all of us to continue to help those in need and to contribute to specific charities such as Hope for Hopetown, Man o War Relief, and Samaritan’s Purse. School supplies, building materials, clothing, and other items are all still vitally needed in the region as the Bahamas works to rebuild. One of my favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill when he said, ‘we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’- no truer statement can convey the spirit of giving in this time of true crisis in the Bahamas. The islands will recover, and the area is still magical- we were reminded of that as we watched a beautiful sunset light up the waters in the Sea of Abaco on our final night at anchor.”