Operation Good Pirates of the Caribbean is Sea Shepherd’s Hurricane Dorian relief campaign in the Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas on September 1, 2019 and over the next 24 hours, the storm caused catastrophic damage as unrelenting winds destroyed everything in its path. This category 5 hurricane was the worst natural disaster ever to hit the Bahamas.
In the weeks following Dorian, Sea Shepherd volunteers delivered over 60,000 lbs of aid to the communities hardest hit by the storm. The crew of of the M/V John Paul DeJoria have been on the ground in Freeport, Crown Haven, Sweetings Cay, Mores Island, Fox Town, and Maclean’s Town Cay, distributing essential aid to survivors to meet their immediate needs and help facilitate the long and difficult process of rebuilding their lives.
Sea Shepherd supplied gasoline to local vessels, enabling skiffs to reach the M/V John Paul De Joria at anchor and stock up with boxes of relief supplies, creating a lifeline to settlements cut off from the Grand Bahama Highway due to bridges being washed away.
Over 6000 lbs of food, enough to provide over 48,000 meals, have been distributed to-date to the people in these settlements.
Family emergency kits (containing hydration salts, solar-powered lights, hygiene products, and water filtration units), first aid supplies, drinking water, pet food, temporary shelters, and cleaning materials were also distributed to the survivors.
Upon the return from the first leg of this relief mission, Sea Shepherd partnered with animal rescue organizations Compassion Kind and Humane Haven to rescue abandoned and stray animals that survived Hurricane Dorian. Twelve dogs, puppies, and kittens were recovered from hurricane-ravaged communities and brought onboard the M/V John Paul DeJoria. Sea Shepherd transported these animals to Florida, where they are currently receiving care and will be placed up for adoption in the coming weeks.
The M/V John Paul DeJoria will be returning to the Bahamas in October 2019 for a second leg of this hurricane relief mission.
There are many issues affecting our oceans. Climate change, which influences the frequency and intensity of hurricanes like Dorian, is one of them. Sea level surge during Dorian impacted people across Grand Bahama and the Abacos.
The Bahamas are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. As an archipelago of islands surrounded by an ecologically rich but fragile aquatic ecosystem, the consequences of storms like Dorian are catastophic for both the people and the marine life who inhabit the land and waters of this island nation.
Sea Shepherd established Operation Good Pirates of the Caribbean in September 2017 to bring humanitarian relief supplies to Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda after hurricanes Irma and Maria. “In 2017, we reached the shores of Dominica a few days after hurricane Maria with supplies. It made a difference. Now the Bahamas have been devastated by one of the most powerful hurricanes in meteorological history. Our ship, the John Paul DeJoria, is in the Bahamas responding to this tragic disaster and delivering much needed aid to these devastated shores,” stated Captain Paul Watson, Founder and Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.