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Polk Co. fishermen on a mission to collect relief supplies and drop them off in the Bahamas

Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 17:36:45-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- Videos and pictures of the devastation left behind in the Bahamas brought the Bean family to tears.

The islands and Florida Keys have a special place in their heart as they and other fisherman friends frequent the blue-green waters often.

But now, the people who call the Bahamas home are in need of severe support.

Dorian made itself known Sunday afternoon in the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, marking it the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record.

RELATED: Hurricane Dorian's 200 mph wind gusts the 'strongest' recorded in northwestern Bahamas

The storm hovered over the Bahamas for nearly two days, causing unprecedented destruction, submerging an airport, leveling buildings and killing at least seven people on the Abaco Islands.

“They’re in survival mode right now,” Keith Bean said.

Bean said he and his angler buddy, Lex Brown, jumped into action, planning and figuring out how they could legally get help to the Bahamian people as soon as they can.

“We know we can make it in our boats and so we have to do something and we can’t wait around for someone else to do it when we know we can,” Keith’s wife, Amanda Bean said.

The group posted a plea on Facebook and since then the response has been overwhelming, according to the Bean family.

Fishermen and women now turned first aid, as they are in collection mode to send relief.

Asking for anything everything need to help take care of survivors and also rebuild the Bahamian community.

“It’s heartbreaking” Keith Bean said.

Lex Brown, another fisherman who plans on helping out says the crew will have to jet over to the islands and back as quickly as possible. There will not be any fuel, any places to stay or left or supplies for the themselves.

Brown says the 180-mile trip to the Bahamas takes about five to six hours and they’ll have to go straight there, leave supplies and come back.

“We’ll gas up and we’ll head over with how many people we can,” Keith said.

Drop off zones in Lakeland will run Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the locations below:

5189 U.S. 98 N, Lakeland, FL 33809

Harbour Freight
5115 U.S. 98 N, Lakeland, FL 33809