Apologies for this, it\’s very much off the top of my head and I\’m not quite sure how sensible it is. But a suggestion for aid to Haiti.
There is gross and disastrous destruction in Haiti as a result of the earthquake. Tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands have died or are at risk of dying.
The greatest lack appears to be of potable water: yes, I know about the lack of medical supplies and so on but in the heirarchy of needs clean water is highest for the continued survival of a human being.
Three facts occur to me.
1) Haiti is some 700 miles from Florida. Well within the sailing distance of a moderate to large sized pleasure boat.
2) Florida has (along with other nearby Caribbean nations to add to the numbers) the world\’s largest concentration of such medium to large sized pleasure boats.
3) Modern such medium to large sized pleasure boats tend to have desalination and water purification systems onboard. Those that don\’t tend to have large fresh water tanks.
There is therefore the opportunity to move said desalination and water purification systems from where they are currently not being used to where they can save lives. They are currently mounted upon their own transport systems and thus can completely bypass the chaos at the country\’s airport(s).
So why not the Dunkirk flotilla of little ships in reverse? Those who own such boats sail them to the harbour of Port au Prince or nearby? Engage the water purification systems and pump the water ashore?
Would it need organisation? Sure. It would also need fuel: but the US Navy has auxiliary tankers just like any other navy does and I doubt that anyone would stint on free fuel paid for by the taxpayers to those who do move and run their boats to provide such fresh water.
Perhaps there\’s some finer point of the sea that I\’m missing here so if there is can someone tell me what it is?
To sum up: the suggestion is that all those fine boats moored in Southern Florida load up with basic medical supplies and simple survival gear: blankets, food, camping stoves and the like. Then they move such and their onboard water purification and desalination systems from Florida to Haiti. The US Navy provides the infrastructure support and the fuel.
This is all entirely voluntary of course.
Is this sensible or am I sadly promoting an entirely silly idea?