PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - More than 1,100 Bahamians have arrived in Palm Beach, Florida, after being evacuated by cruise ship from their hurricane-battered islands.
The Grand Celebration cruise ship returned to its home port after setting sail Thursday for Freeport, Grand Bahama, to deliver more than 112 tons of supplies and ferrying dozens of health workers and emergency crews.
Hurricane Dorian produced catastrophic damage across the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm. The resulting humanitarian crisis has prompted a massive relief effort.
The cruise line industry is aiding the relief effort by sending ships to transport food, water and personnel to the islands, while rescuing Bahamians looking to flee the devastation.
Officials with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which operates the Grand Celebration, said the arriving Bahamians were met upon arrival at the port by volunteers from various South Florida nonprofits, as well as representatives from the Bahamian Relief Consortium.
"The cruise line spent nearly a full day clearing potential evacuees, including vetting their visa and passport documentation," the company said in a press release.