Destin fishermen taking donations by boat to Port St. Joe

Northwest Florida

DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Not only are trucks headed east to help ship donations to Panama City and Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael but fishermen are taking boatloads of food, water and clothing to those in need. 

Captain Kelly Windes has been a fisherman for more than 50 years and is now an Okaloosa County commissioner. He is ready to head out on his charter boat, “Sunrise,” full of donations from other fishermen, local residents and businesses. 

“We’ve got clothes, we’ve got diapers, baby wipes, Clorox, cleaning supplies, paper goods.”

The boat is docked at Destin Fishing Fleet Marina and will leave overnight. About half a dozen truckloads went out on boats already but Windes says he can fit a couple of semi loads on his boat. They have hundreds of cases of water and Gatorade along with anything else people may need to start rebuilding their lives. 

“Most of us older, middle-aged fisherman I’ll say, have been through these storms,” Windes said. “Eloise in 75, Opal in 95, and we know how devastating and how traumatic and emotional all of it is so the fishermen above all other people are going to help the other fishermen. We kinda stick together.”

Captain Kelly hopes to make another trip or two in the coming week if there are more donations. Donations can be dropped off at the Destin Fisherman’s Co-op at 210 Harbor Boulevard any time. 

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