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Helping Hands

We’ve been watching for days the utter devastation visited on the Bahamas by Dorian. Abaco, Grand Bahama, Elbow Cay, Man-o-War and many other small islands have been turned into war zones. It is truly heart breaking for any of us who have cruised and felt the warm welcome of those islands to watch what the Bahamians are enduring.

I admit my eyes tear up at those sights. My guess is that you, like me, are moved to help the Bahamians. It’s no surprise that dealers in South Florida have immediately taken action to help right now.

Nautical Ventures Group has established a two-pronged Bahamas Relief Effort. It has created a GoFundMe campaign that I urge you to support. It also has two drop-off points at its Dania Beach or Palm Beach locations where South Florida residents can donate much-needed supplies.

The GoFundMe will buy emergency supplies, including food, water, and medicine. In addition, available funds will be used over the longer term to help residents recover and rebuild. All donations to this fund will exclusively support relief and recovery efforts in areas impacted by this storm.

NV president Roger Moore, a round-the-world sailor himself, started to get inundated with calls from clients with large yachts volunteering for an armada, hoping to leave immediately with supplies for the islanders. Recognizing that they may have to lay anchor offshore, many will be towing small center consoles to ferry supplies to shore. The fleet has received clearances from the Bahamas Consul General.

In addition, 5 customers’ private jets are awaiting a green light to fly there. Two NV customers with 135-footers are already under way from Nassau to assess and relay the marine situation. Chartered vessels are also being readied, as well as commercial transport services now staged at the NV locations.

In the meantime, the dealership is collecting relief supplies at home. “Our two drop-off locations are currently accepting canned goods and non-perishable supplies including personal items,” NV’s Frank Ferraro emphasizes. “The response is almost overwhelming. We have dozens of volunteers at each store stepping up to sort and palletize.”

The fund has collected $11,600 from 63 donors.

Denison Yacht Sales has also created a unique fundraiser after receiving many calls from clients wanting to help by donating money, services and goods. Specifically, this fundraiser will be used to buy medical supplies, toiletries and building equipment.

In addition, all Denison offices are available as local drop-off points for relief items.

“To make the relief efforts as fast and efficient as possible,” explains Bob Denison, president, “we’re asking if people want to donate goods, please only drop off the following items to our offices: Sat Phones, Insulin supplies and First Aid Kits. We can easily and quickly transfer such items from anywhere and we are coordinating these supplies to be delivered the Grand Bahama Island, hopefully as early as this weekend, with our friends at Hope for Hope Town,” he adds.

Meanwhile, by donating money there could be another reward at the end. Every donor’s name will be entered a raffle of 10-plus boating adventures, including fishing, sailing, and even a one day deluxe charter aboard IL CAPO, a 110′ Broward located here in Florida. Simply Click this GoFundMe link and donate the amount of money associated with the raffle you are most excited about.There are currently dozens of prizes, charters and fishing trips that have been donated by Denison clients.

If you have a boat or adventure you’d like to donate to the raffle, please email For a list of Denison Yacht Sales offices nationwide for drop-offs, go to:

The fund currently has about $39,000 from hundreds of donors, some donating as little as $5, but all offering words of encouragement.

We also encourage marine dealers and marina operators, MTA’s, marine industry manufacturers and other industry suppliers from around the country to support the initiatives of these two fellow dealers with something for the Bahamians who now have nothing!

MarineMax has also established multiple dropoff locations at its locations in Clearwater, Miami, Naples, Pompano, Sarasota, Saint Petersburg and Stuart, as well as accepting Amazon packages at its Pompano locations. Here is a list of addresses. “We are coordinating that these supplies be delivered to the Abacos once it is deemed safe for travel from Florida,” said the company on the website.

Warning: Bogus Hurricane Relief Pleas

Hurricane disasters can bring out the best in us – donating to relief funds, welcoming evacuees into our homes, helping clean up or rebuild, providing whatever we’re able.

They can also bring out the ugly – scammers preying on our generosity for their own gain! While Dorian was demolishing Marsh Harbor over the weekend, a disgusting example surfaced in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

ABC Action News’ popular chief meteorologist, Denis Phillips, whose frequent weather posts are viewed by thousands in this area, posted on Facebook that a scammer posing as him was asking people to donate money to a fraudulent relief site.

“I can’t believe I have to write this,” Phillips wrote. “This is so disheartening. Do Not Send Them Any Money!” Phillips is well known for his quip about approaching storms, especially his Rule No. 7 – “Stop freaking out . . . until I tell you to. We’re fine.”

(Thanks to Frank Pastor at the Tampa Bay Times for also reporting on this scam.)



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