U.S. Mission Does First Overflight of Abaco with PM, Continues Search and Rescue Operations

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U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers (right) accompanies Prime Minister Hubert Minnis (center) and U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Scott Buschman to board an assessment overflight of affected areas in Abaco, The Bahamas, on September 3, 2019 in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. (Photo credit: Office of The Prime Minister of The Bahamas)

The U.S. Mission to The Bahamas is completely focused on assisting the victims of Hurricane Dorian. On September 3, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers accompanied Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Vice Admiral Scott Buschman of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on the first overflight of some of the affected areas in Abaco.

In an update, Chargé d’Affaires Bowers said, “we are proud to stand hand in hand with our Bahamian friends and partners. Prime Minister Minnis and I saw firsthand the scope of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian. We have one collective goal: to assist the victims of one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. Now is the time to come together and show what partnership means.”

USCG Search and Rescue Operations

The USCG continues search and rescue operations in the Northern Bahamas, now with support from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well. As of 8:00 pm on September 3, they successfully airlifted 42 people to Nassau, including three people from Freeport, and four U.S. citizens. This is in addition to the 19 people rescued on September 2.

Also on September 3, the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) arrived in Nassau to support The Bahamian government’s disaster response. The DART will assess damage, identify needs, and work with partners to provide critical assistance to those in need. The U.S. is cooperating with The Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, and other international and non-governmental partners in a massive collaborative effort.

Information for victims seeking immediate assistance

NEMA in The Bahamas has set up an emergency response phone number for anyone seeking assistance in the wake of Dorian. Anyone needing urgent help should:

  • Call NEMA at +1 (242) 322 6731
  • Send their location to NEMA via WhatsApp at +1 (242) 557 5202
  • Give NEMA their
    • Name 
    • Number of persons in their group
    • Details on their safety, health, and location

Others who wish to aid rescue operations can help spread this contact information. The U.S. Embassy encourages all persons to follow reliable official sources of information, and only share verifiable information from credible sources.

Family members and friends of U.S. citizens who are in affected areas of The Bahamas should write ACSNassau@state.gov for assistance locating their loved ones.

A U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk and crew brave torrential rain and lightning storms on the night of September 2, 2019, running search and rescue flights transporting injured persons from Abaco to Nassau, The Bahamas, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. (Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas) 

A team of relief personnel from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of The Bahamas, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Red Cross-Bahamas, and others prepare a gurney to receive injured persons transported to Nassau from Abaco on U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawks, on the night of September 2, 2019. (Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas)

An ambulance receives injured persons transported to Nassau from Abaco, The Bahamas, on U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawks on the night of September 2, 2019; the team of relief personnel is from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of The Bahamas, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Red Cross-Bahamas, and others. (Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas) 

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