By Dorie Cox; Photos by Josh Ritchie
The 179-foot medical ship M/V Pacific Hope departed the Dominican Republic three days after Hurricane Dorian hit the northern Bahamas.
Upon arrival in Freeport, Grand Bahama, more than 40 volunteers and crew began to cook and distribute hot food, water and supplies to hundreds of people throughout the island with four-wheel-drive vehicles.
By mid-September, the mostly volunteer crew had fed 10,000 people and treated 300 patients in three locations, according to Capt. Marvin Wilson, who has worked with the vessel on-and-off for about five years.
“We have airlifted three people out and have performed life-saving surgeries on others,” he said.
Volunteer Capt. Ken Bracewell organized and transported a 28-foot center console tender to the islands that was borrowed from his previous captain’s job on M/Y Rena. Running hundreds of miles each day, he has helped transport fuel, supplies and medical personnel to the island of Grand Cay, where M/V Pacific Hope’s crew has provided a medical team and repaired a house to use as a clinic. A team of eight stay on the island to provide medical care.
On Grand Bahama, the group set up a warehouse and distribution center in High Rock, which is unable to be accessed without a 4WD vehicle.
As of late September, the mission was still going strong.
“When I see the human effort, I’m really, really proud,” Capt. Bracewell said. “It’s hard to describe.”
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