US Coast Guard transports hurricane survivors to Nassau to get medical attention

People flock to airport to find out whether relatives made it on relief flight

NASSAU, Bahamas – Local 10 News cameras were rolling overnight in Nassau as a U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue chopper arrived from Abaco.  

One by one, survivors entered the airport, getting urgent medical care and being rushed to area hospitals. 

The situation in the Bahamas is a humanitarian crisis.

While survivors in desperate need of medical attention are being rushed to get the help they need, many are still desperate to be reunited with loved ones and went to the search and rescue crew staging area at the Nassau airport.

"My dad is there and I have not heard anything," Celestine Bootle said. "My fear is what we're all fearing the worst, but you're praying for the best."

One father went to the airport hoping to see if his three children and parents arrived on a relief flight.


"Right now I'm just trying to hope that they're safe," Oraysha Rolle said. 

Stephen Turnquest, whose family was rescued from the Abacos, held his 4-year-old son tightly as he spoke to Local 10 News reporter Christian De La Rosa. 

He said he can't believe they are alive.

"The most terrifying moment of my life," Turnquest said. "Tornados came and took the roof off. I had to hold my wife and my two kids, 4 and 7, for an hour and a half with the seas just crashing on my back."

A woman and her 1-year-old daughter were also among those rescued. She said it's not safe back home in more ways than one. 

"You all watch the movies after a natural disaster and you see what happens," she said. "Food rationing gets very, very low and then everybody becomes crazy. They need to get them people from over there because it already started. It already started. I can't give an account for it, but we've heard from others that they have people walking around with guns, holding people up by gunpoint, trying to rob you of whatever you have. It's crazy life in Abaco as we know it. Gone."

The U.S. Coast Guard got at least 114 people to safety overnight as the death toll rose to at least 20.

Meanwhile, new drone video captured a closer view of the Abaco Islands, which showed homes shredded, some areas still underwater, and communities leveled and left in ruins.


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