Everyone has a role in the recovery efforts on St. John and the surrounding islands. Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruce Twyon. Bruce is the owner of Southern Hospitality and So Ho II, two charter boats in Cruz Bay. Bruce was fortunate in that both of his charter boats survived the hurricanes, and because of that, Bruce has been giving back to the community as a thank you ever since.
Since the storms hit, Bruce, a retired state trooper from New Hampshire, has done a number of humanitarian trips alongside fellow captains Jay Rushing and Eric Hovgaard. The following list is a sampling of what these men have done for the betterment of our community over the past two months:
- They helped personally evacuate residents from the island, bringing them to the airport and Red Hook in St. Thomas.
- They helped evacuate local police, fire personnel and other residents of St. Thomas who were stranded on St. John while the ports were closed.
- Working with the Kenny Chesney foundation, they assisted with the evacuation of residents, some in need of medical attention, as well as numerous dogs and cats. On their return, they transported necessary personnel and supplies back to St. John.
- They brought 15 of the 25 New York State Troopers who came to aid our island, as well as their gear, from the airport on St. Thomas to St. John after dark. This was a treacherous trip as there were no navigational lights or markers working on either island.
- The men delivered much-needed medicine and medical supplies to the hospital on Tortola at the request of the Virgin Islands Relief Fund.
- And to thank those who have helped our community so very much, they’ve ever offered free Sunday-funday-style boat trips to those of were feeding thousands of people each day with the help of the Red Cross.
Bruce did not receive any compensation for these trips; his time and the boats were donated for free. (Some guests insisted on paying for fuel and tipping the crew; however some of that money has been returned to the residents of St. John directly.) So again, a BIG thank you to captains Bruce, Jay and Eric for all of their efforts over the past few months. It takes a village, folks.