Five days after the devastating Category 5 hurricane with gusts of over 160 knots of wind, the full extent of the damage is gradually becoming apparent. Large parts of the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands have been practically completely destroyed, the popular pier on the small island of SabRock has also been devastated, parts of charter fleets are sunk or damaged in bays and marinas.
On St. Martin, the video shows port facilities in which twelve catamarans alone are drifting keel up in the lagoon or lying on land. The storm particularly seems to have hit the multihulls hard, many of them were obviously hit by the gusts and knocked over, despite being braced to the ground. It is still not possible to estimate how great the damage will be for the charter industry. The German Lucie Barone, owner of the Caribbean fleet operator VPM, is currently on one of her charter yachts on the way to St. Martin, since the island's airport is still reserved for the military and ferry traffic is also at a standstill. She reports from on board:
Helicopter flight over St. Martin to "Irma"
"We bring relief supplies, water, petrol, batteries, food and such things with us on the boat, the local people are currently lacking everything. It is too early to say when and how things will continue on St. Martin. Yesterday went the telephone network for a short time, but we only get very sketchy impressions of the location. But as you can hear, the French assistants are on site and do a really good job."
However, desperate residents were also looted. The military is now taking action, the island can currently only be entered with their permission. First of all, it must be clarified how quickly the harbors can be used again, because some wrecks have to be salvaged beforehand and the jetties restored. Since the local construction industry and shipyards have also been hit by destruction, nobody knows how long the repair work and new constructions on site will take.
Flight over the BVIs with SabRoch and the Bitter End Yacht Club:
But it is already clear that crews who have chartered in the region will have to be patient a little longer. The damage to the infrastructure on land is so great that the security and supply of the residents is of course more important than the restoration of the charter fleets.