Coast Guard crew leaves Galveston to help in Haiti

November 10, 2010 10:32:34 AM PST
Help from around the world is rushing to Haiti today as doctors fear the cholera epidemic is going to worsen now that it has hit the island's capital city. The United States Coast Guard is sending a crew from Galveston to provide relief.

The Coast Guard ship backed out of port about 10:30am Wednesday. Onboard was an 80-man crew ready to provide assistance at sea and on land if need be.

Before departing, crew members on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless got ready for their mission at Hand-Helping Haiti

"Basically anything and everything humanitarian assistance should that come up, we are ready to go," said Commander Jim Andrews of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless.

The devastated country, crumbled by an earthquake, is now battling a massive cholera outbreak that has already claimed the lives of more than 500 people in Haiti, and is now threatening millions more with a confirmed case of the infection in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Commander Andrews says though their mission is to patrol the waters, the crew of the Dauntless will do everything it can not only to assist at sea, but if duty calls drop the anchor and head to land.

"We have a corpsman onboard, a handful of EMTs. We also have medical supplies if we need to provide medical care," said Commander Andrews.

"People out there need help. People out there are less fortunate than we are here. The Coast Guard is there for that," said U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Joseph Watson.

It will take the crew about five days to get to Haiti. They will return on New Year's Day, but that return date may be delayed depending on how much they're needed in Haiti.

Eyewitness News anchor Gina Gaston has spent the past few days in Haiti, covering the devastation there. Look for more of her reports on air and click here on abc13.com to see more of her videos.


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