Relief supplies for the hurricane stricken victims of Dorian in the Bahamas, donated by residents of Bermuda were stacked, packed and loaded in a single weekend, on board a Royal Navy ship scheduled to leave on Monday morning.
The navy’s Antarctic partol ship, HMS Protector will deliver the emergency aid supplies of food, water, hygiene products, plywood and other supplies.
Passengers on board for the journey to the Bahamas include RBR Colour Sergeant Sheldon Fox and National Disaster Coordinator Steve Cosham.
Volunteers were jointed by RBR soldiers who secured the relief supplies at the Seventh Day Adventist Church hall to make for easy loading.
Those supplies will be en route to the Bahamas later today (Monday), just over a week after the Category 5 hurricane slammed the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama last weekend.
Captain Matt Syrett RN, the Commanding Officer of HMS Protector, said: “We’ve arrived in Bermuda at an opportune time and we’re delighted to be able to assist.
“We could stay here and load much more because of the generosity of the Bermudian people, which has been very impressive,” he added.”
With the need in the affected islands so great, the ship would be most useful by getting assistance there as fast as possible, he added.
Lieutenant-Commander Robbie Nash said: “We’ve all seen in the press the devastation that Dorian caused and we’re very proud to be representing Bermuda, the UK government and the Royal Navy. We’re glad to help out.”
Bermuda’s Governor, John Rankin commended the people of Bermuda for their incredible generosity.
“I am grateful that HMS Protector, together with the Royal Bermuda Regiment and with support from the community and the City of Hamilton, are loading everything on the vessel so they can take it to the Bahamas and help those who so desperately need assistance,” he said.
“The international community as a whole is determined to help the Bahamas in its time of need and Bermuda is playing its part in that effort.
“I hope all the material that is coming from here will help get people back on their feet and provide them with what they need to get them through the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.”
Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley, the Commanding Officer of the RBR, added: “This is an excellent example of how the RBR can support the civil authorities and work with other armed forces in times of need, at home and abroad.
“I am very proud of all the soldiers who turned out at very short notice and threw themselves into the work with huge enthusiasm.”
Speaking at a news conference held last evening, National Security Minister Wayne Caines said: “The people of Bermuda have risen to the highest of standards.
“I am thankful, grateful, and humbled to be a part of our community,” he added. “I want to thank everyone involved for this effort.”
A spokesman for the ship added: “It has been inspiring to see the outpouring of help and aid that has been loaded on board my ship here in Bermuda.
Simone Smith Bean, a Bahamian in Bermuda said: “We are bubbling over with respect and gratitude to this island that came to our aid.
“These are people who have nothing,…those who are sleeping outside with nothing.”