Prior to the storms we had 14 of our boats secured and ready at Road Reef and another 19 boats secured on our hurricane moorings in Paraquita Bay. Despite our efforts, a direct hit from Category 5 Irma caused catastrophic damage to the entire BVI. To add insult to injury, two weeks after Irma, Hurricane Maria passed just south of the BVI, also as a Category 5. Fortunately not much additional damage was caused, however Puerto Rico, our life-line to supplies and transport since Irma, has now suffered the same fate as the BVI.
Most of the boats in the TMM fleet are damaged, some more than others. The good news is that since the storm we have already managed to extract 10 yachts from Paraquita and another 3 that should come out once heavy equipment has moved some of the other charter companies’ boats that were destroyed. Nine boats in our marina are floating but unfortunately all boats in our marina lost their rigs. We hope that at least 8 boats will be repairable within a relatively short period of time. We were also fortunate that we had one new Lagoon 450 down island that is fine and 4 other new boats that will be arriving in the BVI to join the fleet in the next couple of months. We have already heard from interested charterers who wish to book yachts in the future through TMM, which is great news!
We are currently working towards re-opening the TMM base at Road Reef. It is our goal to start sending out charters by mid-December. We understand that electricity and water will soon be restored to our Road Harbour location, thus enabling businesses to rebuild and function properly as soon as possible.
We have kept a core team of 9 TMM employees in the BVI to deal with the aftermath of the hurricane damage and they have been working tirelessly to salvage the yachts and begin the necessary works to enable TMM to be fully functional. TMM Managing Director, Barney Crook and I have evacuated temporarily to TMM’s USA Stateside Office to direct operations from there as communication thus far in the BVI has been severely hampered. Future charter bookings, cancellations and the rearranging of yacht schedules are currently being dealt with by Barney and Karen in the USA office. We can be reached at 1-800-633-0155 Monday – Friday. Additionally, Barney and I, along with Don Pietrykowski, our yacht salesman, will be at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis October 5 – 9 so please stop by and say hello.
Barney Crook has owned TMM and been contributing to the BVI community for over 3 decades. The TMM team has been a significant force in the development of the tourism industry in the BVI. You can rest assured that TMM will be moving onward and upward to once again be one of the leading charter companies in the charter industry.
Many of you have asked how you can assist TMM. Two of our TMM yacht owners have set up a YouCaring TMM funding site to help support our dedicated staff, some of whom have been employed by TMM for over 25 years. Pre Hurricane Irma, TMM employed 20+ people, most of whom have lost their homes and possessions in this storm, and with the devastation of the tourist industry, have also now lost their livelihoods. Please consider contributing to this cause: www.youcaring.com/tmmtortolastaff-952274 We have now assessed our staff’s needs and will begin distributing funds and many essential items to our staff this week. xsTo those of you who have already donated, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Many of you have asked about our Joyce * (who is the only staff member we have not been in touch with), and as soon as we hear from Joyce we will be letting everyone know. She was on holiday in St. Maartin during Irma staying with friends. We remain confident that in true Joyce fashion, she will magically appear at TMM in the near future and be ready to make her "infamous" coffee and look after our charter guests with her ever-present beautiful smile and kind-hearted nature. Please continue to keep Joyce in your prayers.
Despite TMM Yacht Charters tireless efforts to prepare for Hurricane Irma, no one could have anticipated this unprecedented storm and the catastrophic damage it would cause, not just to the BVI, but to many of our neighboring islands. Please keep the people of all of the islands affected in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for your patience as we move forward towards our goal of re-building TMM. Please continue to check our website www.sailtmm.com to review the yachts and their schedules as they become available for charter. As we progress we will do our best to keep you updated, please be patient.
Rest assured TMM will be back, better and stronger than ever!
TMM Yacht Charters