Jimmy and Brady opened their homes to all of us countless times and in so many ways. Whether it was as a bed and breakfast, a floating hotel to attend the Chili Cookoff at Brewers or St. Pattie’s Day parade on St. John, a place to reside for those with limited funds, a “school” for crash course diving lessons “Jimmy Style”, the home base for a snorkeling adventure, or a place to entertain the families and friends of friends….Jimmy and Brady made everyone feel as if his home was your home.
We have the opportunity now to return the favor. It is our time to pull together on behalf of our humble Jimmy Jones (who would never ask for help) and our “not so humble” Brady and help them to make a new start. While sparing Friendship on September 7th, Hurricane Irma almost took the lives of Jimmy and Brady. Approximately two weeks later, Hurricane Maria demolished Friendship, leaving Jimmy and Brady homeless and without an income. This is what happened!
In preparation for the Category 5 Hurricane Irma, Jimmy moved Friendship to Culebra, PR to a protective hurricane hole where he remained onboard to ride the storm out. Jimmy realized mid storm that despite his best efforts, he would have to leave the boat and seek safety if he would survive. In his wetsuit, he gathered Brady and his dry box and jumped overboard into waves 10 feet high and swam towards the distant land. On the way, he lost Brady and his box! Miraculously, he made it to land and was rescued by an officer who saw him staggering in the 150 plus miles winds seeking shelter. Jimmy begged that officer to look for his beloved Brady. Amazingly, Brady found his way to his dad and they rode the storm out together. The next day, he found his box deep in the mangroves. When he looked out, he could not have been happier to see Friendship still afloat. Bombashay, his dive boat was gone. He returned to his boat but had to stay put. Ports were closed due to the devastation from Irma on St. Thomas. He remained patiently in Culebra, counting his many blessings. Then he got word of Hurricane Maria heading towards the islands. Based on limited reports available, he decided it was best to stay in Culebra.
Much to his dismay, as the storm got closer, it strengthened to a Category 5, and shifted to a direct hit on PR. It was too late to move. He knew that he could not risk riding this one out onboard Friendship. He anchored down the very best that he could and headed to the home of a complete stranger that graciously took him in.
The next day, when daylight opened, Jimmy and Brady’s hearts were broken. While thankful to be alive after facing two Category 5 storms, they were devastated to find their beloved home in pieces on shore. Shortly thereafter, looters came and took what was left.
Jimmy and Brady lost their home and livelihood. It took 10 days to be able to return to St. Thomas where they came face to face with the reality that Friendship would no longer be moored at Elephant Bay and that home would no longer be at sea. As Jimmy and Brady begin to pick up the pieces, they desperately need our help. They will have to evacuate St. Thomas as they are homeless and without income. They are currently house hopping with friends who have offered them a place to rest their wary heads temporarily.
Please acknowledge the love and kindness that Jimmy and Brady have always shown by contributing to their GoFundMe so that we can help them to get started in Chapter 2-Jimmy Jones and Brady- Living in A RV! Our goal is to raise as much as we can all give.
Cheers to Jimmy Jones and Brady and to the many wonderful times that you made happen aboard Friendship! You have touched the lives of MANY!
Go Steelers! Oooops…go Patriots☺
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