September 25th, 2017
The BWA Ark Project to support the Caribbean
So many of us have enjoyed working and playing in this amazing area of the world, and it has suffered immense and utter devastation at the hands of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two of the strongest storms ever recorded.

Captain Lucille Frye of BWA Yachting St Maarten was the initial driving force behind this relief effort, and the group has grown to include Destiny Gagiano, Louise Clark, Noona Ayres, Francesca Fenucci and Antonella Della Pietra, the BWA Yachting communications team and many more.

HOW YOU CAN HELP 
IF YOU ARE A YACHT CROSSING TO THE CARIBBEAN   

A) ARK AID VESSEL  
BWA Yachting is helping coordinate more ARK / BWA AID to come across the Atlantic with volunteering mega yachts returning to the region for the coming winter charter season.    

Each interested yacht will become an ARK AID vessel and can help by providing / soliciting donations from their crew, family and neighboring vessels and bringing these across to the Caribbean.  

In order to ensure that we only take over just what is needed, we are gathering lists from families and charity organizations and we ask that the yacht brings only what is on that list. The yacht is in charge of filling the list. BWA will ensure that the items go directly to the families and organizations to ensure they get exactly what they need.  

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO BECOME ARK AID VESSEL
   

B) MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS   ARK / BWA AID monetary fundraising efforts will also continue! Since we are now moving from the initial rescue phase into assisting with the recovery stage monetary donations are of even more immense importance. We hope to continue to raise significant amounts of funding to help rebuild targeted organizations and those families hardest hit.     

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE
 

THE ARK EFFORTS SO FAR – HURRICANE IRMA
The first 'ARK' was ‘S/V Lorena,’ chartered from RM Croisieres, who allowed us to re-purpose the yacht. Douglas Rapier’s Yacht Services Agency in Martinique provided invaluable ground support to set her up. The ARK was Captained by Andy Sinkey, resident of Dominica; who immediately volunteered his help after IRMA smashed into St Maarten. Andy left his wife and elderly sister in Dominica, safe at their home, the beautiful Bananalama Eco Villa .   

The ARK’s crew on the way into St Maarten consisted of Lee Hallam, Luke Cagney, Max Laubser, Berit Bus and Laura Bijnsdorp. Here is Laura's story. It delivered 4 tons of immediate aid relief that included water and food and tarps and medical supplies that was handed over to K1 Brittania upon arrival who distributed the goods to the most desperate areas on St Maarten. The plan was to rotate the ARK between St Kitts and St Maarten with continued aid. 

PLOT TWIST – THEN HURRICANE MARIA HIT   
Shortly after the ARK was unloaded, Tropical Storm Maria started approaching and the ARK was stranded in St Maarten while Dominica was slammed by a completely unexpected CAT 5, leaving the island and Captain Andy’s family very little time to prepare for such a devastating storm. Meanwhile, back in St Maarten; Andy had to put his heartache and personal worries aside and take the ARK sails off and urgently prepare her properly for the arrival of Maria. With the help of his crew and friends he tied her up like a spider in a web to the last remaining docks and pilings in Simpson Bay Marina to keep her safe, knowing it was his only way home to Dominica.  The ARK survived her ordeal and stayed in place with sustained TS force winds with gusts up to 100kts.     

With the curfew lifted and the wind subsiding in St Maarten, Captain Andy is now rushing to replace the sails and fill the ARK with whatever surplus supplies of aid he can find in St Maarten. The St Maarten hospital is generously paying forwards their extras to the island of Dominica. Andy will take the ARK to Guadeloupe where a new Captain is waiting and the ARK will drop Andy and the supplies at Dive Dominica just South of Roseau. Once the supplies are safely delivered, Andy will start his arduous journey home, the final stretch on foot due to collapsed roads, with a sat phone, a waterproof back pack of medical supplies for his valley, and a machete to cut his way through the tangled, blown out jungle track; once he has managed to hike across the 3 rivers that challenge entry to his valley. We will all be waiting with bated breath for his phone call once he gets there.  Meanwhile ARK AID continues to soldier on and in addition to the ‘S/V Lorena’ (which is soon to be returned to her home in Martinique) the ARK has contributed to The tug boat coming out of Grenada with supplies for Dominica   Kids from the I Can foster home got their delivery from the Ark

The ARK / BWA AID group would like to give a MASSIVE thank you to all the donations given so far! The donations have been truly amazing and have already enabled us to make a difference in a significant way!    

THANK YOU!!!   

TOGETHER WE ARE ONE – CARIBBEAN STRONG!    

For information, please contact:
For yacht captains and crews
LUCILLE FRYE – l.frye@bwayachting.com +1 721 5548918
ANTONELLA DELLA PIETRA – a.dellapietra@bwayachting.com +34 667 440059
For press and media FRANCESCA FENUCCI – f.fenucci@bwayachting.com +39 333 2878171