Hurricane Irma the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history hit Sit Maarten devastating everything within it’s wake in early September.
Hurricane Irma damaged over 90% of the buildings and homes on Sint Maarten and surrounding islands, leaving many homeless and unemployed.
K1 Britannia Foundation, is a charity operating in St Maarten that focuses extensively on maritime projects, concentrating on the social issues faced by troubled youth on the island.
A few hours after the hurricane passed over the island, K1 volunteers were among the ﬁrst to jump into action.
They spent 12-14 hours a day clearing rubble, debris, assessing the livability of shelters, comforting those they met along the way, and distributing donated food and water from select business individuals who pulled together to give what they had left.
Volunteers rescued individuals from damaged buildings and homes bringing them into a safe place with food and water.
They were able to keep the vulnerable homes and shelters, including the hospital, prison, foster care homes, mental health institutions and more, supplied with the basics that they needed.
Apart from taking on the responsibility of keeping 700 individuals including 90 foster children, housed in the vulnerable institutions supplied with regular food and water, K1 Britannia Foundation became responsible for the government food and water mass distributions of aid being delivered to the port.
Together with the Dutch Marines, they were able to distribute food and water at the selected mass distribution points, covering more than a 1000 people every day – most of whom had no access to food or water for days.
The charity was given a stand at the Monaco Yacht Show and it used its presence there to highlight specifically to highlight our current relief work in St Maarten and the Caribbean in wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria
Now that Sint Maarten is doing its best to regain a sense of normality the charity is appealing to yachts to help the island and work together with the local marine industry to get it back on it’s feet and bring back tourism to the island.
The charity has launched a two fold appeal to the greater yachting community asking yachts to join with them in helping St Maarten get back on it’s feet.
They are calling for yachts to come back to the island for this coming winter season.
The Marine Industry plays a huge role in the infrastructure and success of the economy.
Valeska Luckert the Secretary of the Marine Trades Association St Maarten said: “The yachting industry has endured a lot of damage during Hurricane Irma and are doing their best to get themselves up and running for this upcoming season. The marinas are working to repair the docks and clear all underwater debris that may otherwise hamper clear passage.”
Marinas have announced they would be open and functional from the 1st of November, 2017.
Agents are gearing up ready to be open for this season. Services the likes of
FKG, Budget Marine and Island Water World, are already operational.
The Marine Trades association’s members are working hard to clean and rebuild as quickly as possible to be up and running for this upcoming yachting season.
Secondly the charity is asking for support in terms of ﬁnance and aid to help them during the recovery process.
Speaking for the charity Priya Thirumur said, “The yachting industry has enjoyed and beneﬁtted from St Maarten for so many years, and now is when we need your support and care to help us bounce back. We desperately need your help! For donations and to see more of what we are doing and how you can be involved, please visit our website”