Local boaters helping hurricane victims in the Bahamas

Local boaters helping hurricane victims in the Bahamas. WPEC

A large group of South Florida boaters is on a mission to help victims of Hurricane Matthew.

As the sun came up, some of them gathered at the Jupiter Inlet Marina.

“The Bahamas is our second home and the people there we love. They are family to us so this hits us very hard,” said Leah Lynch.

Lynch said the 67-mile trip to the west end of the Bahamas came unexpectedly after learning of the aftermath of the hurricane. She and Captain Jake Smith took to social media to collect donations.

“Within a couple hours everybody donated all this stuff it was really cool we live in an awesome place,” Smith said.

Avid boaters and fishermen from Stuart to Wellington stepped in to help out collecting about 10,000 pounds of supplies. Lynch and the others spent Friday night loading up the back of the boat with two generators, coolers and tools.

Inside the main area of the vessel they packed flashlights, batteries and hygiene products. There were more supplies stored in the back rooms. They filled up the rooms with baby wipes, diapers, dog food, around 300 cases of water bottles, nonperishable food items and much more.

Once they were all aboard, they began their four-hour journey to their second home, in hopes of making a difference.

“I have been in contact with a pastor over there from a church and they are going to pick up the supplies when we get there and disperse it to the people who need it the most,” Smith said.

The group plans to continue collecting donations and make another trip next week. If you would like to donate call Anything Marine Services at 561-401-9897.

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