Port Authority bustling with Barbuda relief efforts

The hurricane relief efforts in Barbuda are in overdrive, as fishing vessels, seaplanes and helicopters are authorised to transport goods via the Antigua Port Authority.

Darwin Telemaque, port manager, said three fishing vessels made trips to Barbuda on Thursday, taking water, food and, most importantly, medical personnel.

The Deep Water Harbour will be used by the National Office of Disaster Services as the main point of transfer of goods and supplies to Barbuda. The Port Authority has established a second location at the loading dock near the Fisheries Complex, which port workers have transformed into a public donation collection site, which, Telemaque said, at this stage, should only be water and canned goods.

“Once you package your items correctly, we will store it and send it to Barbuda as quickly as possible,” Telemaque said. Two aircrafts from the U.S. landed at the V. C. Bird International Airport on Thursday afternoon. The goods were taken to a “landing craft” in Crabbes. “Some 72 pallets containing food, medical supplies, water, tarpaulin and blankets…it’s a big effort, and everybody is pitching in.”

Premier Beverages has donated more than 400 cases of water, just a snapshot of the goods coming in, Telemaque said.

The Red Cross is also involved in getting relief items to Barbuda. Clarence Henry, captain of the Lady Melody, said that the organization contacted him to help transport supplies. Henry, who is a Barbudan by birth, will take two trips per day. He said that he is appreciative of the Port Authority for supplying the diesel and men to load his fishing boat.

The western end of the pier was “undermined” with significant wave damage during Hurricane Irma. “Now, that area does not in any way compromise our commercial activity. It will not prevent us from conducting the business of importing and loading and discharging of the ships,” Telemaque said.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)