CLEARWATER, Fla. - Coast Guard aircrews from Clearwater are helping rescue dozens of people from flooded homes in the Bahamas.
“It’s heart-wrenching,” said Captain Joe McGilley, commanding officer at the air station.
Coast Guard video shows flight crews carrying injured people in their arms to a hospital in Nassau. At least four choppers from Clearwater were pre-positioned at a Navy base on Andros Island prior to Dorian’s arrival and were among the first rescuers in to flooded areas like Marsh Harbor.
“People want to come and help but we urge them not to unless they’re authorized,” said McGilley. He says volunteer rescuers mean well but can take up valuable resources and endanger others.
Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection also deployed with helicopters.
“They are helping with search and rescue, security, and emergency medical care, “ said Radames Torres of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Tampa.
Help is coming from all parts of the U.S. A Coast Guard search-and-rescue aircraft from Sacramento, California arrived in Clearwater, as well as Coast Guard rescue swimmers from Michigan.
The Coast Guard went on alert eight days ago when Dorian threatened Puerto Rico and their response to the storm continues with more hard work ahead.