Further to your tremendous and timely support of the TIA initiatives, we have been able to achieve some major accomplishments in what has been a very challenging week. On Tuesday we made our inaugural flight over to Abaco, taking the Defense Force on the plane, to do our initial recce. The devastation from the air was overwhelming, and whilst it was encouraging to see some pockets of the island that had weathered the storm relatively well, the razing to the ground of so much of this beautiful island was humbling to see. Unfortunately, storm conditions were still severe enough to prevent landing, but we took in as much information as we could of the areas that were safe enough to fly over. The US coast guard was able to land it’s helicopters on Tuesday and, thanks to our close working relationship, we were able to direct them to some critically ill residents – including a lady who had broken her neck and back – that they were able to airlift back to Nassau for urgent medical care.
On Wednesday our efforts began again and this time we were able to make a number of trips and transport defense force representatives over to the island where they could start to make headway into organising the evacuation. It is tragic to see how people’s homes and communities have been obliterated and whatever you are seeing on social media cannot prepare you for the harshness of the reality of lives and livelihoods destroyed. On a positive note, our team was able to evacuate a number of women, children and the elderly. The pictures attached show some of those that we rescued and, nearer the end of the day, some of the people waiting to be registered and going on to stay in Nassau. Due to the state of the runways in Abaco, we are currently the largest carrier that can land on the island and evacuate people and we are on the only carrier alongside the military that has been allowed to land in Marsh Harbour.
The process continued again today and will continue to do so – we will utilize all the funds that we have to take essential relief teams and supplies to the islands and return with those who are most in need of medical support, food and shelter. When we return to Odyssey we ensure those people receive what they need and have somewhere to go in Nassau.
We will continue to update you with how things progress on this long road ahead, but for now are grateful that your generosity and humanitarian support allows us to help those most in need.