Sunsail Assists with Hurricane Relief While Preparing for Charter Season

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October 10, 2017 by Monica Grant

Fall is usually a busy time for Sunsail as the charter company prepares for the winter season. However, this year they have been extra busy dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma - assisting with local relief efforts, and assessing damage to their own property and vessels. 

Throughout the first half of September the Caribbean region was ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and potentially the yet to be determined Hurricane Jose. Multiple well-known businesses and tourist haunts were destroyed, and thousands of people were left homeless and bereft. Sunsail's bases in the Bahamas, Belize, Antigua, Grenada and St. Lucia were unaffected and able to continue with normal operations, however with reports of extensive damage to their fleet and buildings in St Martin and the British Virgin Islands, Sunsail’s initial priority was the safety and welfare of their guests and Sunsail team members. 

“The impact at our locations in the Caribbean is heartbreaking but our guests are safe and we continue to reach out to all of our team members.”

Although major damage to power and cell phone infrastructure hampered communications, Sunsail was finally able to reach staff on the ground and everyone was confirmed safe, but deeply affected.  

The charter company then turned its focus to the task of assisting with general relief in the hurricane zone, and reestablishing contact and repairing facilities at their damaged bases. 

By September 14th security forces and humanitarian organizations were assisting with evacuations and relief work, and all of Sunsail’s customers had been safely returned to their mainland homes. Two weeks later Sunsail was delivering shipments of water, rations and refrigerated cargo to the affected bases. 

Sunsail Relief   Sunsail Water

It is now one month later and although much of the Caribbean is still a wasteland of broken homes, businesses and dreams the people most affected are those with the most hope. The islands’ residents have experienced hurricanes before, though it is unlikely that any of them have witnessed a storm with as much ferocity and aftermath as Irma. 

Yet they will carry on and they will rebuild. It will take courage, which they have in abundance, and it will take time. But it will also take the support of people like you and I who can help by planing to visit these regions and spending our tourist dollars in what remains one of the world’s most beautiful natural environments. 

Sunsail

Sunsail’s teams in the BVI and St. Martin are progressing toward full recovery and are working with their local cruising-grounds partners to welcome guests back to the islands. They now are able to announce that the BVI will re-open on December 9, 2017 and St. Martin is due to re-open on February, 1, 2018. 

Anyone who has a scheduled charter departure in the BVI between now and December 8th 2017, or in St Martin between now and January 31st, 2018 is asked to contact Sunsail’s Vacation Planners at 888-350-3568 or sunsailusa@sunsail.com for assistance with rearranging your charter. 

“Tourism is the beating heart of the Caribbean and we are determined to rebuild and come back stronger than ever. We’d like to thank our operational teams for the incredible work they are doing in very difficult conditions. Aid efforts to our affected teams continue, with shipments of much needed supplies currently en route.” - Sunsail

Hurricane Relief funds:

Sunsail Employee Relief Fund 

BVI Relief Fund

The Moorings and Sunsail Hurricane Irma Employee Fund

American Red Cross

BVIrelief.org

Sunsail advises that call volumes are currently higher than usual and you may experience longer wait times than normal. View Sunsail's travel-advisory page for up to date information. To plan ahead for a bareboat, flotilla, or skippered vacation at any of Sunsail’s 25-worldwide bases request Sunsail's 2018 Brochure.

 

Sunsail

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