Orlando pilot heading to Bahamas to rescue neighbors

Looting, shootings and more prompt Avalon Park man to take action

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando pilot planned to fly to the Bahamas on Thursday in an effort to rescue some of his neighbors trapped by flooding and devastation.

Brian Doonan lost a home to Hurricane Dorian in the Marsh Harbour area of Abaco Island.

He and his wife, Shannon, have now created what is virtually a Bahamas rescue command post inside their Avalon Park home.

He said his neighbors, who are still on the island, told them the danger is growing.

PHOTO GALLERY: Damage in Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian

"It's horrible," Brian said. "It's a war zone over there, and people don't know."

"The looting is just insane," Shannon said. "It started with supermarkets, and then it went to liquor stores. That's where one gentleman got shot last night -- right outside the liquor store."

Shannon said he has been trying to help the people on Abaco Island find some of the missing.

She said she's succeeded in locating quite a few.

Brian is a pilot, and he said he decided to fly himself to the Bahamas to rescue his neighbors.

He said he's bringing his friend Ted Honcharik with him.

Honcharik is the chairman of a nonprofit organization, Fuel Relief Fund, which helps bring much-needed fuel to regions hit by natural disasters.

"The difficulties of this disaster, it's an island," he said. "We can't just drive 300 miles if we needed to bring in fuel.  It has to be shipped in there."

To maintain contact with their neighbors, they said they've relied on WhatsApp and satellite phones.
Doonan and Honcharik were scheduled to leave early Thursday morning and arrive in Nassau at approximately 9:30 a.m.
 
 

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