Owner of Cape Coral watersports store helping shuttle people to and from Sanibel Island

James Douvia owns Sunset Ski and Watersports in Cape Coral.

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – James Douvia owns Sunset Ski and Watersports in Cape Coral.

He’s taking people out to Sanibel Island who evacuated for Hurricane Ian and need to get back.

Douvia told Local 10 News’ Bridgette Matter that many are desperate to get to the island to check on loved ones that they haven’t heard from.

“People passed away, parents, grandparents living on the island,” he said. “They’re going to check on homes.”

Local 10 News rode along with three people heading to the island for the first time.

Upon arrival the group found a woman with her cat who was waiting to be picked up and taken back to Cape Coral.

She said she returned to pick up her cat and to check on her home.

Douvia has been running people back and forth to the island almost every day, all day.

“We want to pay it forward and help our community as much as possible,” he said.

Emergency repairs are underway to get roads and bridges back and running to better access the barrier islands.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made his way to Sanibel Island on Wednesday.

“There is more debris I think on Sanibel than any place I have seen thus far,” DeSantis said.

The governor said damage to power infrastructure was significant there.

Repairs are underway to have the Sanibel Causeway finished by the end of the month.

DeSantis also announced with the Florida Department of Transportation that the emergency road and bridge repairs to get to Pine Island were finished early.

Douvia is not charging for his services, only accepting donations for gas.

A GoFundMe page was created to help Douvia continue to help the area residents who so badly need it. The page can be found by clicking here.


About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.