The Key West Community Sailing Center has a number of sailboats at its disposal for training purposes, and five O'Day Mariners are among them. When Hurricane Irma smashed into Florida about a month ago, all five Mariners were sunk, and it's not a pretty picture. The Center has remained closed since the hurricane, and they are seeking donations to help repair and rebuild.
Here are excerpts from the Commodore's letter:
"I stayed for the hurricane Irma. So I was able to go to the sail club as soon as the winds died down enough to walk around without getting hit on the head with a coconut.... We looked around and saw that the four O’Days had sunk completely and one was half up.
"The situation of the Center is DIRE. I don’t know if we have the funds or can get the funds to recover. I have talked to FEMA... and they said they can’t help a not-for-profit. I have sent a plea for help to our Community Foundation in Key West... but there are about 300 not-for-profits that will also be looking for help. I am not even sure how much money we need to ask for if we could get any money. The five O’days would be thousands.
"We need to get the company that crushes boats to come over and take ours out of the water and remove them. Someone asked if they could be saved. The answer is NO. They have been underwater now for days and most of the pieces of boat are damaged."
This is a real shame, and I hope the Center will be able to eventually recover. But I can't help but wonder: Why in the world didn't they take their boats out of the water knowing a hurricane was coming?