More than £8,000 donated to support hurricane relief efforts in the British Virgin Islands has been handed over by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
The money was raised by passengers on two Caribbean cruises on board the ship Braemar in January.
The donation was handed over to the British Virgin Islands’ Red Cross in Tortola.
Tortola was one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.
The cruise line has also assisted the Caribbean’s hurricane relief effort by donating new crew uniforms worth £33,000 to two of the worst-hit islands – Barbuda and Dominica.
Fred Olsen donated 1,465 new uniform items to the islanders before Christmas, including shoes, trousers, shirts and skirts, along with 2,263 items of used uniforms.
BVI Red Cross finance and administration manager Dawn Crabbe-Herbert said: “There are still a number of people who are living in emergency shelters and a greater – but unknown – number of people who are living with host families, not yet able to return to their homes.
“The BVI Red Cross plan to use the generous donation from the passengers and crew of MS Braemar to purchase basic household items, such as beds, fridges and other furniture, so that they can return to a normal comfortable life.
“It is hard to imagine the power of a 5-plus hurricane, but some families who went through that experience are still deeply traumatised.
“Houses stripped bare and soaked through, a family’s entire possessions destroyed. Some things are irreplaceable and can only be mourned. Others can be replaced – and will be – with the help of kind donations.”
Braemar tours manager Sandra Harvey said: “We are very pleased to be one of the first cruise ships to make a visit to the island of Tortola, after so many cruise lines have had to cancel their calls due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.
“The whole of Tortola was devastated after these tremendous storms and is still very much affected – recovery will be a very slow process – but the agents and islanders are committed to working together to try to restore this beautiful part of the Caribbean.
“Braemar has called continuously in Tortola over the years and we are all very sad to know the predicament that the islanders are facing.
“They are heavily reliant on the tourism trade and we hope that, by making our cruise call, we can go some way in helping to improve the situation by bringing much-needed revenue to the island.”
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