Local Sport Fishing Captain Brings Much Needed Relief to the Bahamas

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Local Sport Fishing Captain Brings Much Needed Relief to the Bahamas

The Lois Ann and crew.

The Lois Ann and crew.

Dylan Montesi

The Lois Ann and crew.

Dylan Montesi

Dylan Montesi

The Lois Ann and crew.

Dylan Montesi, Contributor

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Usually, Captain David Ide loads his drift fishing boatthe “Lois Ann”, with tourists, fishing gear, and coolers packed with food, drinks, and iceBut, as of September 5thhe started to fill it with chainsaws, machetes, medical equipment, tarps, and lots of water.  

Why the radical change? Hurricane Dorian. 

The massive storm made landfall on Great Abaco Island on September 1st, 2019, and tore into the Bahamas with a rage that ravaged the island. Captain Ide along with 11 others, sailed to the Bahamas to help with relief efforts hands on. 

 When you have a storm of that size down here in Florida, you have people from upstate and all over the country coming down to help,” said Ide. “But the Bahamians are stuck on an island so it’s a lot harder to get help over there. 

Aside from boat travel, the only other option was air travel. Although, going by plane is expensive and inefficient. Small planes can only hold about 4-500lbs, while bigger planes can carry about 1200lbs.  

Not only does it take a lot of planes to bring supplies, but one of the islands main airport called Grand Bahama International Airport, was flooded so much that only seaplanes were able to land. 

“Yeah, the airport was flooded pretty bad,” said Ide.

Ide says the islands desperately need more electricians and more people to help clean the debris.In one trip, Ide brought along an electrician who upon seeing all the destruction was in utter shock, and wanted to return to the boat 

 “He was worried that the working conditions were bad, and wanted to go back on the boat although eventually we were able to help get a clinic running,” said Ide. 

As of now, there is still no electricity or running water in parts of the island. Although there are generators, some people don’t know how to use them.  

“We could give people generators all day,” said Ide. “But that doesn’t mean they will know how to operate them efficiently.” 

Ide believes that there needs to be more people involved in helping and cleaning the uprooted trees, building rubble, pieces of wood, and even boats that were washed ashore still covering the streets.

All the supplies Ide brought down to the Bahamas were mostly funded by a woman who owns a marina called the “Leeward Yacht Club.” hardware store in Georgia sent around $50,000 worth of tools, and building supplies.Many locals also continue to donate necessary items.   

Donations flooded in so rapidly that an entire warehouse was filled to the brim with supplies. Unable to accept any more donationsIde directed people to send their donations to other relief organizations. 

Because he doesn’t trust the local government to deliver the supplies directly to the people in need, Ide perfers to deliver the supplies he’s bringing directly into the hands of local people. 

According to Ide, some supplies are being held by the government and donations aren’t getting to the affected people.  

We met a lady down in Freeport who told us that the government wasn’t handing out supplies so a buddy of mine went with her to government officials and made them fill up her car,” said Ide. 

Ide owns a business called “Lady Pamela Sport Fishing”. He has a fleet of 3 boats that he uses to take tourists, and avid fisherman alike out fishing. Ide spends a lot of time in the Bahamas as it is a popular spot for fishing and other recreational activities.

“Destruction to the Bahamas affects business tremendously,” said Ide.

Even though, revenues are down, Ide plans to make many more trips to the Bahamas, because he says the people there are in still in desperate need.  

“People there need as much help as they and get and every little bit of it helps, said Ide.