Brunswick Corp., Bass Pro Shops and Yamaha Marine Corp. have been helping with Tropical Storm Harvey efforts by providing boats and motors, as well as working with area dealers.
In addition to supplies, members of Yamaha Marine’s Pro Fishing Staff are rescuing people trapped in the unprecedented floodwaters using their own boats, said Tournament, Sponsorship and Pro Staff Manager David Ittner.
Caleb Harp, Chad Kinny and Dwayne Eschete were working anywhere from 12 to 14 hours with few breaks in between, Ittner told Trade Only Today.
“These are three guys who have gone nonstop,” Ittner said. “As the rivers have crested over and there’s been additional flooding, there are areas they never thought would flood. They’re even having to go back to some places because even people they put on high ground are flooding.”
A text message from Eschete Tuesday night urged people who want to help to send food.
“Just to let people know if they want to help out. National guard, Coast Guard, police, fire dept, ambulance service. Has no food. I'm cooking 20# of jambalaya to bring tonight,” Eschete said.
“I have so much admiration for these individuals who have pooled their own resources,” Ittner said. “I’m awed at the devastation. The end is not near. It’s going to be a long time before everyone is actually rescued.”
“They said you’d pass a house, and a person would be screaming and you know you can’t put another person on your boat,” Ittner said, echoing what 22-year-old Kyle Holmes told Trade Only.
Ittner, who took a call from Harp as he spoke with Trade Only, said Harp and his team had just finished rescuing people trapped in Baytown, Texas. “They pretty much cleaned up that area,” Ittner said.
“I asked him, ‘Over the last three or four days, estimate what you think you’ve rescued,’ ” Ittner said. “He said, ‘I’d have to tell you thousands. With the amount of people we have out there, I’m looking out and I’m seeing 60 boats, it’s got to be thousands of people.’ ”
“Unless you have a boat you cannot get into these areas,” Ittner said. “He’s heading with his team to Beaumont, and then on to Port Arthur.”
Companies were also sending supplies to affected areas.
Mercury Marine has provided numerous engines and RIBs and is working closely with area dealers, Brunswick spokesman Daniel Kubera told Trade Only Today in an email.