The Triton

News

Former stew/deck rallies resources for St. Thomas in USVI

By Dorie Cox

Former deck/stew Jody Olson is connecting with everyone she knows to help her home island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. Formerly on yachts including M/Y D’Natalin IV, M/Y Arioso, and M/Y Harle, Olson currently works as a house manager on the island.

“On the news you see talk of long gas lines in Florida, not how people have lost their homes in the islands,” Olson said by phone today. “And lots of people don’t know another storm, Hurricane Jose, is coming.”

Temporarily in New York City, she evacuated before the storm with the family she works with, and is now on the phone and online coordinating fundraising and relief efforts.

She hopes to bring supplies and donations to the island in the future because many regular delivery channels are damaged.

“A lot of the ferries are damaged or sunk and there is no post office on St. Thomas anymore,” she said.

Olson has created a t-shirt for sale online and said that 100 percent of the money will go to the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. People want to help, but many are not sure how and many of the standard resources on island are having their own troubles, she said.

“Patients had to be evacuated from the hospital and the roof collapsed on the fire station. It injured several workers and has blocked the vehicles,” she said. “The gas stations are damaged. Yacht Haven Grande has fuel but the dispensers are broken.”

Olson grew up on St. Thomas, knows the region well, and sees several immediate needs.

Former deckhand Jody Olson is pictured on M/Y Harle during this year’s Mediterranean season. She is currently organizing relief efforts for her home island of St. Thomas in the USVI. PHOTO PROVIDED

“I’m working to find people with large vehicles to help,” she said. “Our challenges are finding enough people to help, getting curfew passes and getting roads clear. Finding fuel is a problem and so is security. Many people want to help but are wary because of how dangerous it can be, there are reports of looting.”

Olson sounds energetic in her mission, but realistic on how difficult it will be to be sure people are safe, to get communication back online and to get supplies to the island.

“I feel the tone of the island changing, first, they were happy to be alive and most are accounted for. But now they see total devastation. People are losing hope quickly,” she said. “We are very hopeful. They need to hold on a little longer.”

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comment below.

Related Posts...
UPDATE: Wed., Sept. 20 Click for Hurricane Maria update for Read more...
The Marine Industry Cares Foundation in South Florida has organized Read more...
UPDATE: Mon., Sept. 18 Barbuda’s ambassador to the United States, Read more...
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, awarded a Read more...

Share This Post

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Editor’s Picks

Fort Pierce yard gets another chance

Fort Pierce yard gets another chance

County commissioners in St. Lucie County voted yesterday to buy 12 acres of land in the Port of Fort Pierce for $25 million and operate a …

Hurricane Maria impacts Caribbean as a major storm

Hurricane Maria impacts Caribbean as a major storm

UPDATE: Wed., Sept. 20 Click for Hurricane Maria update for Sept. 20 from Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)'s …

Competition, workshops for interior crew at Monaco

Competition, workshops for interior crew at Monaco

Stews, don't miss the chance to strut your stuff at the Monaco Yacht Show this year. G.U.E.S.T. (Guidelines for Unified Excellence in …

Windowless cars, damaged boats, rare flights aid Tortola escape after Hurricane Irma

Windowless cars, damaged boats, rare flights aid Tortola escape after Hurricane Irma

By Dorie Cox The first frightening trip was out the door of the hotel bathroom. Four charter boat guests stood up from the floor of …