Jumping into action

Published 9:42 pm Monday, September 16, 2019

When Hurricane Dorian slowed to a stop over the northwestern Bahamas and unleashed its wrath, it became clear that the storm would claim many victims and that it would be a long, long time before the island nation would be able to recover.

Thousands of people in the Abaco Islands and on Grand Bahama Island are still hurting after Hurricane Dorian battered the islands for what must have seemed to the survivors like endless hours with a devastating storm surge and winds tied for the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record.

In the face of that devastation, it’s easy to feel powerless to help. But when you have a plane, a pilot and manpower, you can get a lot done, and one local business proved that with its impromptu mission to the Bahamas.

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Skydive Suffolk sent two planes and several staff to the Bahamas, even closing their business at least one day during the effort because of the shortage. But the sacrifice was well worth it.

The partnership between the Suffolk business, the Virginia Skydiving Center and Blue Tide Marine was important for all those in need.

The team delivered utility vehicles and motorcycles to allow rescue crews on the ground to get to people who were stuck. They also delivered tents, generators, fuel, water, tarps, chainsaws and more equipment to people who desperately needed these items.

The team also airdropped buckets with parachutes fashioned from tarps, with the buckets containing water, food and medicine — again, all desperately needed.

Planes were loaded with supplies at Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They would then fly about an hour by air to get to the Bahamas, do drops for 15 minutes, fly to another Bahamian island to refuel and then fly back to Fort Lauderdale to do it all over again.

We love to see local businesses demonstrating good corporate citizenship, not only locally but also globally. Our thanks — and, surely, we imagine, the thanks of the Bahamian people — go out to Mike and Laura Manthey, their son Mikel and the rest of the crew.