Hurricane Irma Relief, USVI/BVI

Irma delivered a crushing blow to the US Virgin Islands of St Thomas and St John, and all the BVI's were hit even worse.   I am the owner of Dolphin Water Taxi and we have been working dilligently to provide relief shipments of food/water/and other basci necessities to to Tortola,   The main office is in Minneapolis MN so the company is directing operations from there, giving us the added advantage of high speed internet and communications with our team in both St thomas and the BVI (for now, little or no communication exsists between Tortola and St Thomas).

While some additional BVI government relief aid is getting to  the port on Tortola, there is an extremely limited means for them to disperse/deliver it inland to the people when it arrives.   Much of the government there is still not functioning and the food is not getting far from the port.  Many people living further away from the ports have run out of food, and there is little left to find.  Dolphin Water Taxi has the staff and vehicles in place there and able to facilitate the movement of food to reach those where it is most needed.  Emergency donations of supplies will also be occuring by Dolphin from the US Mainland to St thomas, USVI.

We at Dolphin Water Taxi have some of our Tortola staff volunteering  to fight the crowds and potential looting to ensure the food/supplies are taken by car from the port further inland so that it reaches the most needy.   Being able to deliver the goods throughout the island is what is desperately needed in Tortola right now (Virgin Gorda relief is the next step).  Emergency relief is our first mission.

This fundraising effort will be ongoing and is 3-fold:  
First, to provide emergency evacuation services for Americans trying to depart Tortola.  This should be mostly complete by the weekend of Sept 23/24.   Initially, Americans were not allowed to enter St thomas and had to be taken to St Croix.   With our help, the Corbin/Skidmore party of 4 were transported to St Croix Tues Sept 12 at noon from Tortola.  They had limited cell phone service on the way back but were able to send some texts to Dolphin's line, "We owe you everything!!...You saved our lives. Seriously.... we could not be more grateful to you for picking up our cause. "

We will help evacuate more US Citizens the week of Sept 18th-22nd. Foreigners desiring to return to the USVI are still not allowed to be cleared in by US Customs and Border Protection.  Howevr, we will be able to assist independent relief efforts by transporting them from St thomas to Road Town Tortola this same week.

Second,  to provide immediate food/water and basic necessities to those in dire need on Tortola who have an inability to reach the port to find food.   We expect this part of the mission to run for the next 1-2 weeks through at least early October.  Our plans include Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke next as they are in a similar situation.  Our employees on Tortola are ensuring the supplies move inland and do not sit at the ports and are not looted.

Third, and longer term, any remaining funds will be earmarked to help restore Dolphin Water Taxi's vessel "Picocat" which sank at Red Hook harbor in St thomas.  This vessel had previously been undergoing 6-months of dry-dock repairs and only re-entered the water 2 weeks before Irma hit.    Picocat is our large 25pass catamaran style open vessel and able to provide a considerable amount of lift of machinery/equiment and building materials as well as personnel to the BVI so we would like to get her salvaged and back operational as soon as possible to help rebuild St John and the BVIs.  

Greg Aberle of Dolphin Water Taxi will distribute donations to the crew/staff to be used in the order you see above.  What makes this fundraiser different than some more public ones is that we know exactly where the money is going and we know how to use it to ensure it reaches those in need and for the purposes above.   None of the funds will go toward payroll as everyone is donating their time for this effort.  

Thank you very much for your consideration of our cause between now and the Spring of 2018 and for your generosity.  We will keep everyone updated here as well as the Dolphin Water Taxi facebook page.
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Greg Aberle 
Lakeville, MN
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