Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary effort. That characterized the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which saw historic damage throughout the Caribbean. Thankfully, it saw an equally historic response. YachtAid Global, which organizes disaster relief and other aid to global coastal communities, helped mobilize nearly four dozen yachts, and nearly 1,000 crewmembers. With the Atlantic hurricane season already begun, it’s worth taking a look back at the superyacht disaster relief, both to learn and be inspired.
The 2017 hurricane season was extremely active, as predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It produced 10 hurricanes, six of which were Category 3, 4, or 5. That means six major hurricanes. Of them, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused epic destruction, in quick succession, too. An all-volunteer non-profit, YachtAid Global tapped its relationships with dozens of superyachts, crew, and owners, as well as non-government organizations (NGOs) worldwide to provide assistance.
The superyacht disaster-relief response was impressive. According to YachtAid Global, 44 yachts stepped up. They included Dorothea III, Katharine, SuRi, and Va Bene. They also included Slipstream (below), which just received an award from Eco-Mer, an organization that collects donated goods from yachts to go to communities in need. YachtAid Global and Eco-Mer sometimes coordinate efforts with one another. Slipstream received the award for carrying 1,342 cubic feet (38 cubic meters) of aid to Dominica alone, according to Capt. Tim Forderer, YachtAid Global’s executive director. He adds that the crew went on to help rebuild parts of St. Maarten.
Speaking of crew, YachtAid Global says, more than 750 of them responded to calls for superyacht disaster relief. Crew collected and/or donated aid items, as well as delivered supplies. As for those supplies, the non-profit says they total tens of thousands. A brief overview:
- 83,000 meals
- 48,000 hygiene kits
- 6,300 tools, with an additional 60 chainsaws alone
- 1,850 tarps
- 1,250 water filters
- solar panels and solar-powered refrigerators and other equipment donated by SoulR (top), a company in the renewable energy sector.
While the current hurricane season shouldn’t be as destructive, it’s still concerning. Many Caribbean communities continue to struggle in recovery, for example. YachtAid Global is therefore seeking more yacht owners and crews willing to tie their cruising schedule to a humanitarian-aid operation. Furthermore, the non-profit is broadening its contacts with similarly minded NGOs. Contact the organization directly for details on how you can play a role in superyacht disaster relief.