MSC Group joins international Bahamas hurricane relief effort

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The vast container shipping conglomerate behind MSC Cruises is to provide temporary shelters to people left homeless due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian.

MSC Group’s initial efforts will focus on semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing in the areas most affected by the hurricane as well as making ships available for cargo from the US to the Freeport and Marsh Harbour container terminals.

The operation will involve its cargo shipping, cruising and its charitable foundation.

The latest aid initiative came as the death toll from Hurricane Dorian rose to 23 with fears that numbers could rise at least into the hundreds given the number of people missing across the island nation.

An estimated 76,000 people have been left in need of food and shelter with the International Red Cross estimating that 45% of homes on Grand Bahama and the Abacos – some 13,000 properties – were severely damaged or destroyed.

Dorian hit the Bahamas as a category 5 hurricane with winds reaching 185mph, matching the highest ever recorded at landfall, and stayed over affected areas for two days.

A fleet of ships from various cruise lines has been deployed on aid missions to the islands.

Royal Caribbean ships are to be re-deployed over the next few weeks to tender outside of Freeport, the Bahamas carrying goods and meals. This operation began with Empress of the Seas delivering 10,000 meals and 10,000 bottles of water.

The company is also sending container ships with emergency supplies including 47,000 bottles of water, 362 generators, 250 tarpaulins, 25,000 square feet of plywood, 55,400 nappies and 7,500 pounds of pet food.

Carnival Cruise Line is to divert the ships Carnival Pride and Carnival Liberty next week to deliver food, water and relief supplies in addition to an agreement to run shipments of aid by container ship.

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The latest aid initiative came as the death toll from Hurricane Dorian rose to 23 with fears that numbers could rise at least into the hundreds given the number of people missing across the island nation.

An estimated 76,000 people have been left in need of food and shelter with the International Red Cross estimating that 45% of homes on Grand Bahama and the Abacos – some 13,000 properties – were severely damaged or destroyed.

Dorian hit the Bahamas as a category 5 hurricane with winds reaching 185mph, matching the highest ever recorded at landfall, and stayed over affected areas for two days.

A fleet of ships from various cruise lines has been deployed on aid missions to the islands.

Royal Caribbean ships are to be re-deployed over the next few weeks to tender outside of Freeport, the Bahamas carrying goods and meals. This operation began with Empress of the Seas delivering 10,000 meals and 10,000 bottles of water.

The company is also sending container ships with emergency supplies including 47,000 bottles of water, 362 generators, 250 tarpaulins, 25,000 square feet of plywood, 55,400 nappies and 7,500 pounds of pet food.

Carnival Cruise Line is to divert the ships Carnival Pride and Carnival Liberty next week to deliver food, water and relief supplies in addition to an agreement to run shipments of aid by container ship.

Sandals Resorts International has responded with help through its SRI Foundation.

Deputy chairman Adam Stewart said: “All three of the Sandals properties in the Bahamas have been unaffected which gives us the opportunity to focus on recovery and assisting however we can.

“We are proud to be working with the government of Jamaica and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre to help our neighbouring island of the Bahamas who parts of which were badly affects by hurricane Dorian.

“The foundation, through the efforts of those who have supported us thus far, donated $10,000 worth of water, as a first gesture to those in Abaco, through our partner the Bahamian non-profit group HeadKnowles. A partner of Sandals has also donated $100,000 worth of cleaning material which we will also be collecting in the next 48 hours.”

MSC Group through its MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has been present in the region for 20 years as the leading cargo import and export operator in the Bahamas. Its local headquarters are based in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Gianluigi Aponte, executive chairman and founder of MSC Group, said: “It is heartbreaking to see the impact and devastation that Hurricane Dorian has brought over the Bahamas and its population. The thoughts and prayers of my entire family are with the people of the Bahamas and their families and loved ones.

Image result for MSC cargo ship

“As a family company and one that has lived off the sea for over 300 years, we are fully committed to supporting both immediate and longer-term relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas.

“Our businesses have long been closely tied to the Bahamas and its people, with a rich history spanning over many decades. We now look forward to supporting their efforts to rebuild and recover in every way we can and through all our businesses.”

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said: “The devastation of the Bahamsa is truly tragic and heartbreaking and we are keeping them in our thoughts as we continue to offer our support and assistance.”

The US states of North and South Carolina are at risk of dangerous storm surges today before the hurricane moves towards Nova Scotia at the weekend.

Holidaymakers forced to abandon their cruise ship after it collides with oil tanker off the coast of Turkey leaving huge dent in hull.

  • Celestyal Crystal cruise liner collided with tanker STI Pimlico on Saturday 
  • More than 850 passengers on board evacuated by sea boat to Gallipoli
  • Two crew members and a passenger suffered minor injuries in incident
  • Emergency services moved quickly to stop a fire from the oil tanker 

More than 850 passengers had to be evacuated after their Mediterranean cruise ship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Turkey, leaving a huge dent in its hull.

Authorities said a huge disaster was averted after emergency service quickly responded to reports that the Celestyal Crystal and the tanker STI Pimlico had crashed at 1.30am on Saturday morning in the Dardanelles Strait.

Cruise operators said two crew members and a passenger suffered minor injuries in the accident as the vessel, registered to Malta, made its way from Greece to Istanbul.

All of its 853 passengers and 382 staff were taken to safety by a sea bus to Gallipoil, and the rest of their journey was cancelled while structural damage to the front of the ship is being fixed.


Damage: The hull of the Celestyal Crystal was badly damaged after the incident at 1.30am on Saturday

Emergency services moved quickly to douse the tanker in water to prevent a fire or explosion after fuel spilled out of the 182-metre long tanker, which had been travelling from Russia to Malta carrying flammable naptha fuel.

It has not yet been established how the collision took place.

A statement from the cruise line published on travel website www.cruisecritic.co.uk said Celestyal Cruises, which operates the ship, will arrange for passengers to continue their holidays on other boats.

It has also offered full refunds for holidaymakers’ cruise fares as well as second, complimentary seven-night cruises

Spill: Emergency services working quickly to stop a fire or explosion when oil poured out of the tanker 
Spill: Emergency services working quickly to stop a fire or explosion when oil poured out of the tanker 

‘With the safety and care of our passengers as our utmost priority, we will ensure the smoothest possible disembarkation for those on board since the current cruise will have to be cancelled’, it said.

‘We apologize for the inconvenience and would like to assure that we will spare no effort in ensuring that our passengers are provided with the best hospitality under the circumstances.’

Mayor of Çanakkale, Ahmet Çınar, told Turkish television channel NTV a huge disaster was prevented just in time and potential danger has been minimized thanks to ‘intensive’ work by emergency crews, the Daily Sabah reported.

Ferry services along the Strait were cancelled for several hours during the clean-up operation.