Cruise ships have been used for evacuations from St Vincent and Caribbean neighbours have pledged support after a series of volcanic eruptions on the island.
St Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano began erupting on 9 April, forcing around 20,000 people to flee their homes.
Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas has since been sailing to the island to collect evacuees.
“The crew has been preparing beds, provisions, and supplies. We are thankful for and proud of this small group of people who always and unwaveringly go above the call of duty to help in any way they can,” the line tweeted.
The Foreign Office advised Britons wishing to leave onboard Royal’s ship to contact the British High Commission’s UK in Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Facebook page.
Yesterday, Serenade of the Seas docked at St. Vincent to pick up evacuees.— Royal Caribbean (@RoyalCaribbean) April 10, 2021
The crew has been preparing beds, provisions, and supplies. We are thankful for and proud of this small group of people who always and unwaveringly go above the call of duty to help in any way they can. pic.twitter.com/0ei4FZZug3
Celebrity Cruises’ chief executive and president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo tweeted on Friday (16 April) that Celebrity Reflection had left St Vincent "with more than 150 US, UK and Canadian evacuees" onboard.
Lutoff-Perlo called said Reflection was "a beautiful ship on a beautiful mission".
"So proud of crew and honoured to support this extraordinary effort," she added.
UN officials have warned the humanitarian crisis caused by the eruptions will last for months and an international funding appeal is being launched.
Meanwhile, the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis has pledged EC$1 million to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, with the donation including financial and humanitarian support of accommodation for evacuees and security and assistance from military personnel.
Bequia Beach Hotel, which is located five miles from the St Vincent mainland, has also given its help.
Those who have been displaced from their homes are being housed at its sister property, Grenadine House, and the hotel’s yacht is being used to ship supplies such as cots, non-perishable foods, water, baby essentials and masks to those in need.