Assoc. says hurricane created ‘severe dislocation’ in the northern Bahamas
NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM) has been ‘closing ranks’ in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, according to executive director Basil Smith Basil Smith.
Smith told Eyewitness News Online the deadly storm impacted at least five of its member marinas.
He noted efforts to direct leisure business to other islands as several ABM operators, particularly those in the Abacos, remain closed.
Those include: Treasure Cay Beach Marina and Golf Resort, the Leeward Yacht Club and Marina, the Hope Town Inn and Marina, Bakers Bay Golf and Ocean Club and Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour.
“The Grand Bahama Yacht Club sustained some damage but has been able to get up and running relatively quickly,” Smith said.
“Similarly, Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour expects to resume full operation very shortly. While the Abacos and Grand Bahama must be withheld from the product offering while they recover, they are accessible – and usefully so – for boaters who need to access marina-based services.”
He continued “To the south of Greater Abaco, the Abaco Club at Winding Bay experienced no or negligible hurricane damage. Both is now operational and receiving electricity from the nearby power station. Similarly, the Grand Bahama Yacht Club is open and Old Bahama Bay will be very soon. Bradford Marine also reported very slight damage and is open and operational now.”
In the storm’s wake, Smith said ABM mounted an operation to send relief supplies to the devastated islands.
“This was done with the assistance of Bahamas Ferries and a network of well-wishers in the US,” he said.
“After initial humanitarian needs were met we began coordinating the shipment of fuel supplies to the islands. We opened, and still maintain a bank account to handle donations for on-going recover efforts.
“The hurricane created severe dislocation in the northern Bahamas. However, the marinas have been recovering fairly quickly, if only to be of assistance in the broader recovery effort taking place around them. Effort is being made to direct leisure business to other islands while recovery takes place.”
Smith said: “The association is closing ranks and doing whatever is possible to support those members that were badly damaged, several of which are determined to be represented at the boat shows, if only to reassure their loyal customers that they will back n the game sooner rather than later.”
ABM has also run a campaign welcoming boaters to the country’s other 14 islands that were unaffected by the monster storm.
“The boating community of south Florida, our primary market, tends to be better informed about the geography of the islands that the average consumer,” Smith said.
“The boating/fishing media is also being very helpful in this regard. Our promotional effort, going forward, will emphasize reasons for visiting islands that frequent boating visitors may not have visited before.”
Smith underscored ABM’s plans to partner with the Bahamas Tourist Office and the Out Island Promotion Board for the upcoming boat show season.
“We will be at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in early November, the Stuart Boat Show in January and the Palm Beach Boat Show in March. Our efforts against the large and superyacht end of the market are also continuing,” he added.