Carnival Delivers 10 Million Pounds of Supplies for Bahamas Relief

Donated relief goods at a Carnival-backed drop-off station in Miami (Carnival)

By The Maritime Executive 09-30-2019 06:51:00

Carnival Corporation announced Monday that it has delivered fully 10 million pounds of food and supplies for the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian. 

The relief supplies include 250 containers full of donated goods for Bahamas residents, and the Bahamas' National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has had a direct hand in distributing these supplies where they are needed most. In addition, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $500,000 to two organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts.

Though relief efforts have wound down, Carnival's commercial activities have resumed, including two newly announced port destination investments in the Bahamas totaling $180 million. In additon, Grand Bahama Shipyard, which is part-owned by Carnival, resumed operations September 12 and drydocked its first ship since the storm last week. It will receive its first cruise ship since the storm on October 5. The yard's busy schedule will provide continued employment over 600 people on Grand Bahama, contributing to local economic activity. 

Carnival's cruise ships will continue calling at Nassau and at two Carnival private ports, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cay. These destinations were minimally affected by the storm, and Carnival says that the return of regular cruise ship port calls will help to sustain the Bahamas' economy. 

Florida's maritime community also pitched in for the effort. Fort Lauderdale-based Resolve Marine helped Mercy Corps transport and set up a temporary water purification plant for Grand Bahama Island. Port Canaveral donated the use of 56,000 square feet of warehouse space for an Ocala-based charity, Crossroads Alliance & Ministries, to help with the organization and shipment of donated supplies. The Port of Palm Beach temporarily waived all cargo-related fees for donated humanitarian relief supplies shipped to the Bahamas, and it supported efforts by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to conduct two "relief cruises" to and from Grand Bahama. 

Medical relief mission transitions effort to restoration

On September 9, the medical ship Pacific Hope got under way for the Bahamas with a specialized team of disaster relief doctors from Harvard University. The team were among the first medical providers back into the affected area. Over the course of the weeks since, Pacific Hope also facilitated the delivery of food, water, supplies and more to over 10,000 people, all provided directly to people in need.

Now that disaster response efforts are winding down, the Pacific Hope's mission is transitioning to recovery, and the organization is seeking general volunteers with different skillsets. In a Facebook post, Pacific Hope issued a call for volunteers with backgrounds in construction, dock repair or marine operations, including coxswains who can operate center console boats and help deliver supplies.