MIAMI — Preparations shifted into high gear in Haiti on Monday to receive the estimated 200 tons of donated relief supplies aboard the Maine ship Sea Hunter, while hopes rose aboard the ship that its five days in limbo here could finally end today.
But even as the crew lashed down cargo and looked forward to this morning’s arrival of a shipmaster who has volunteered to sail the rest of the humanitarian mission, new worries arose about the health of Sea Hunter owner Greg Brooks of Gorham.
Brooks said he spoke at length Monday morning with Dr. William Lynders, a Connecticut physician who has sailed with Brooks’s Sub Sea Research Inc. on several of the company’s treasure-salvage voyages.
The cell phone consultation followed a call to Lynders by Brian Ryder, the Sea Hunter’s chief engineer and shipboard medic. Ryder said he was worried about Brooks’ physical condition, including what appears to be a lung infection.
“I thought I was a strong guy, I still think I am,” Brooks said. “But it’s been a month of overwhelming things.”
Brooks said he would decide by this morning whether to continue on to Haiti or fly home to Maine after seeing the Sea Hunter off. Either way, he said, the decision will not be easy.
Click on the link for the rest of this column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.
Mr. Nemitz also added a Reporter’s Notebook about the Sea Hunter. A notebook typically are bits and pieces a reporter gathers, but never seems to find place in the main story or column. Here’s a link to the notebook by Mr. Nemitz.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, Bernuth Marine Shipping Inc., container ship, earthquake, Greg Brooks, Haiti, Haitians, heart condition, illness, licensed captain, licensed engineer, licensed master, lung infection, Maine, master's license, relief, Sea Hunter, Sub Sea Research Inc., treasure hunter, treasure salvage
MIAMI — It’s one of those images that stick with you forever.
Ten years ago, on the first of his many seagoing voyages to Haiti, Brian Ryder looked out at the approaching port city of Les Cayes.
Off in the distance at the end of a rickety dock stood a small boy, maybe 4 years old, staring intently back at Ryder.
“He was all stove up – had bloody knees and legs and he was sparsely clothed,” recalled Ryder, a 48-year-old father of five from West Bath.
Asking around, Ryder later learned that the Haitian boy had no mother, no father, no family at all. Like a stray animal, he relied on the people who worked around the dock for his meager survival.
“It was a life-changing experience,” recalled Ryder, who now serves as chief engineer aboard the treasure-salvage ship Sea Hunter.
Late Friday night, as Ryder lay in his bunk aboard Sea Hunter wondering if the ship will ever complete its on-again, off-again relief mission to Haiti, the little boy once again forced his way through the thicket of Ryder’s worries.
“How would my kids feel if their whole family was gone and they’re in this strange place with nobody really to hold them and say, ‘Hey, it’s going to be OK. Don’t cry. Don’t be scared’?” Ryder said. “Man, I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.”
It’s easy, in the storm of controversy now swirling around the Sea Hunter and its owner, Greg Brooks, to lose sight of what this anything-but-conventional vessel and its crew are ultimately trying to accomplish.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.
Posted in Disaster
Tagged Coast Guard, Cross International, Dan Kidd, donations, duty, earthquake, Freeport Flag Ladies, Greg Brooks, Haiti, Haitian, humanitian, J's Oyster Bar, Konbit Sante, Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership, Les Cayes, licensed captain, licensed engineer, licensed first mate, licensed ship master, relief, Sea Hunter, Sub Sea Research Inc., U.S. Customs and Border Protection, volunteer