A cruise ship full of passengers and crew members abandoned their planned 7-day vacation so they could help victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, Celebrity cruise ship in Bahamas reroutes to deliver aid
The cruise ship Celebrity Equinox left Fort Lauderdale, Florida with 3,000 guests last weekend with the intention of docking in Nassau at the end of their week-long voyage. — reports GoodNewsNetwork. However after the storm hit, the ship was diverted to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, which had been partially destroyed by the storm.
Rather than returning to Florida, passengers and crew agreed to turn the trip into a humanitarian mission by preparing, packaging, and serving more than 10,000 sandwiches and water bottles to Bahamians affected by the storm. NBC News reported that even the children aboard the vessel volunteered to help by making handmade cards for evacuees who might need some personal encouragement.
Compensation for passengers as other cruise operators jump on board the humanitarian effort
In a letter to guests, the cruise line explained that it would compensate them for missing the intended port with an onboard credit.
Guests who spoke with NBC News said they understood the decision to reroute and wished they could do more.
"If we can go and give meals, that’s the least that we can do," said Jessica Russell, of Fort Worth, Texas.
"Surely it’s great to be in the Bahamas, but what we’re doing for these people — their whole lives, everything they’ve ever had is gone," she added.
A rotation of the company’s cruise ships will be passing through Freeport to help provide meals and other items, including lawn chairs for sleeping, pillows, bedding, towels and medical supplies. Guests and crews also donated at least 10 boxes of clothing that will be distributed with the help of charities already on the ground.
Other cruise operators such as the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, The Walt Disney Company and Carnival Corporation have all used their fleets to deliver supplies to the islands and provide transportation for families seeking sanctuary.
Additionally, Unicef just announced that more than 1.5 tons of life-saving supplies arrived in Nassau this week.
“This first supply shipment of UNICEF humanitarian items was freighted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and includes over 400,000 water purification tablets, several 5,000-liter tanks for at least 2,000 people and 1,000 jerry cans,” say the organisation.
How to help the victims of Hurricane Dorian
One of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded, Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas, leaving at least 30 dead, thousands missing, and tens of thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. Entire communities have reportedly been “wiped out,” and aid agencies estimate that tens of thousands of people will need support. Agencies are mobilising to offer disaster relief assistance. Here’s what you can do to help.