Association of Bahamas Marinas seeks to hasten recovery

Following the destruction of five marinas in the path of Hurricane Dorian that slammed the Bahamas in August, the Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM) is “closing ranks” in an effort to hasten recovery, according to ABM executive director Basil Smith.

The efforts include directing yachting and other leisure business to neighbouring islands with operating marinas and other infrastructure.

“The Grand Bahama Yacht Club sustained some damage but has been able to get up and running relatively quickly,” Smith told Eyewitness News Online.

“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.”

ABM mounted relief efforts immediately after the storm to get essential supplies to the affected areas.

“This was done with the assistance of Bahamas Ferries and a network of well-wishers in the US,” Smith 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 ongoing recovery efforts.”

ABM has also run a campaign welcoming boaters to the country’s other 14 islands that were unaffected by the monster storm.

“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,” Smith said.

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.