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As the Grand Celebration leaves the Port of Palm Beach, bound for Freeport, no one on board is celebrating.
Many of the passengers are sailing into the unknown.
Vivian and Judy Bowe were on vacation in Florida while Hurricane Dorian slammed the northwestern Bahamas.
Now they suspect their home in Freeport is in ruins.
“I don’t know what to expect, what to do, or where to go,” said Bowe.
The ship is taking Bahamas’ residents home – free of charge – and it’s also loaded with relief supplies.
But anxiety is still mounting for those on board.
“I’m just praying that God will strengthen me so whatever I face when I get home I’ll be able to take it,” said Inez Davis, Freeport resident.
Volunteers on board include a group of ER doctors.
“It’s impossible to know what we’re going to find,” said Dr. John Fernandez, emergency physician.
At least 30 people died in the hurricane and the number could be “significantly higher,” according to Bahamian health minister Duane Sands.
United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said about 70,000 people “are in immediate need of life-saving assistance” on Grand Bahama and Abaco.
“You know it’s like emergency medicine, you treat what comes to the door and try to help out,” said Dr. Leon Melnitsky, another emergency physician aboard the Grand Celebration.
That’s the whole mission, take care of the people.
“And we will be the first ship to get in there and I hope that it gives a lot of hope to the Bahamians when they see us that help is on the way,” said Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.