Yachting enthusiasts have moved to aid Hurricane Dorian relief efforts by employing eight private yachts to provide help to Abaco and Grand Bahama.
YachtAid Global (YAG) is a non-profit organisation (NGO) dedicated to undertaking conservation, humanitarian and disaster relief work in communities that are located on the cruising routes of private yachts.
After Hurricane Dorian demolished much of Abaco and Grand Bahama in September, officials of YachtAid contact edthe Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“We are the only yachting disaster response NGO to co-operate with the United Nations around the world. During disaster relief work we have three guiding principles: the right aid, the right people and at the right time,” explained founder and executive director of YachtAid, Mark Drewelow.
“We operate on the pull, not the push system, which means that we take action based on verified needs assessments and we don’t take guesses at what people need to push supplies into the system.”
Before Hurricane Dorian even made landfall, YachtAid crafted Operation Topaz. The initiative netted thousands of donations of water, lifesaving, comfort, rebuilding and school supplies.
Nearly two months later, Mr Drewelow said the group continues to provide aid and hopes to continue assisting with the rebuilding of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“We continue to work at the UN level and incorporate industry best practices in all that we do. Using those guidelines, we collaborate with our on-the-ground partners, then find volunteer boats that offer to move the cargo. We expect to be involved in various types of ongoing recovery and rebuild work in Grand Bahama and the Abacos for months and years to come,” he said.
Mr Drewelow added that YachtAid officials are currently in talks with 12 other yacht owners to assist with relief efforts.