Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

Hurricane Irma survivors greet British volunteers with tears: ’I thought we would all die’

Latest news

    More than 30 members of the British charity Team Rubicon, staffed mainly by military veterans, took part in the rescue effort. 

    While the Government’s £32million aid effort is targeted at the main areas of devastation, Rubicon were the first to arrive at the tiny Caribbean island of Virgin Gorda. 

    “We were welcomed with open arms,” said Lizzy Stileman, a former major with the Royal Logistic Corps. 

    “At one stage I had a woman sobbing in my arms. She’d been alone with her 12 grandchildren when the hurricane struck and she was sure they were all going to die. 

    “The devastation here is unrelenting – miles upon miles of debris, without a single leaf left on any of the remaining trees. 


    More than 30 members of the British charity Team Rubicon took part in the rescue effort

    We were welcomed with open arms

    Lizzy Stileman

    “Cars, trucks, air-conditioning units, super yachts, speed boats, are all randomly scattered across the island.

    “The marinas have boats floating upside-down, masts broken and some stacked on top of each other.

    “The hills have cars hanging off the sides of the steep slopes.

    “Roads have been washed away and telegraph poles lie scattered at different angles with wires hanging perilously from them.” 

    The first task was to get the island’s water purification system working again. 


    Volunteer Lizzy Stileman handing out drinking water to survivors among the devastation

    “This required a concerted effort to search for fuel to run the filtration system,” said Lizzy. 

    At a clinic in North Sound, they found Rosalind Daisy, a nurse who was alone in her home when Irma hit, smashing the windows and tearing off parts of the roof. 

    When the storm passed, Daisy stitched up about 40 people who had been injured by flying debris, working by torchlight in horrendous conditions. 

    One of the team’s main tasks was to venture into the most inhospitable parts of the island to carry out crucial assessments. 

    In one area, they discovered every desalination plant was beyond repair. 

    They alerted authorities and then repaired a bin lorry to begin the task of removing rubbish, which is key to preventing disease. 

    In another area people were short of drinking water. 

    With help from Richard Branson’s Necker Island staff the team formed a human chain to unload three boatloads of supplies from Puerto Rico. 

    A third team distributed drinking water. 

    “It was clear that word had travelled and people were queueing up to bottle the water,” said Lizzy. 


    Homes and cars wrecked by the hurricane

    More than 2,000 litres were given out in one day. In the evening, eight Royal Marines arrived to help with nighttime patrols. 

    “This came with a sigh of relief from the locals. There has been low-level looting at night,” said Lizzy. 

    The team had barely slept or washed in eight days. 

    “There hasn’t been an opportunity to wash ourselves or our clothes and underwear is now on the inside-out and back-to-front stage.” 

    The team are expected to remain on the island for another week. 

    View the original article:

    To donate to the charity go to

    In the same category are

    ‘Russia would never be so INCOMPETENT!’ Expert denies Moscow involvement in spy poisoning Leonid Rink, who worked on the development of the neurotoxin Novichok used in the Salisbury attack on March 4, said their were four arguments proving ...
    EUROPE BOMBSHELL: Norway government on brink as it faces no-confidence vote Listhaug recently rocked Norway's traditionally consensual politics by accusing the opposition Labour Party - target of the country's worst peacetime ...
    Russia breaks silence: Putin says UK claims Moscow was behind spy attack are NONSENSE Speaking after winning a new term in the Russian presidential election, Putin dismissed the "absurd" claims and questioned why "Russia would do anythi...
    German products are POPULAR! Merkel makes dig at Trump over trade surplus as tariffs loom The President has long advocated a reduction in down America’s huge deficit - which stands at an eye-watering £406billion ($566bn) - and insists a tra...
    Macron support COLLAPSE: Pensioners REVOLT with France set to grind to a HALT Emmanuel Macron's reform plans are set to trigger widespread chaos in France, with the country's travel network expected to grind to a standstill for ...
    Florida bridge COLLAPSE: Up to 10 dead after 950-ton FIU bridge caves – people TRAPPED Six to 10 people were killed when a newly installed pedestrian bridge spanning several lanes of traffic collapsed at Florida International University ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *