Veteran loses boat he calls home as result of hurricane
By Stacey Cato
Oct 10, 2017, 18:33
Veteran Rob Adams is seeking ways to salvage his home, a boat that was damaged during Hurricane Nate
As Pass Christian retired Navy Veteran Rob Adams and his dog Sadie prepared to hunker down during Hurricane Nate, an unexpected twist left the two homeless.
As Nate blew through the coastline of Mississippi, it lifted Rob’s boat up on the dock where he says it was anchored down at the old Pass Christian Harbor.
Rob – who served 40-plus years in the armed services – said he had plans to move his boat after the city of Pass Christian issued a mandatory evacuation for all those who had their crafts parked in the harbor.
Lifelong friend and Pass Christian native Bennie French said Rob chose to lend a helping hand to others in getting their water crafts to a safe haven, but along the way, experienced problems.
“He was actually trying to help someone else,” Bennie said on Tuesday, “and it’s one of the reasons his boat was stranded in the harbor. He took one boat to a safe harbor successfully after a four-hour wait to get through the bridge that was broken at the time. He then picked up another boat to come back and move his own boat out of the harbor because he couldn’t get the engine started on his boat.
"When he came around the bend at Henderson Point, that boat broke down and he actually had to swim ashore and get help. Unfortunately, by the time he was rescued and everything unfolded, it was just too late for him to get his own boat out.”
Harbor Master Willie Davis said that he and the city can truly understand Rob’s position. The boat unfortunately has to be removed from the harbor quickly, Davis said, as it is now serves as a threat to the public’s safety, and will be a heavy cost to taxpayers if he is unable to move it himself.
“Let me tell you,” Bennie said, “the city has worked with me personally through all of this. They have been very understanding and very supportive and we’re all just scratching our heads. It’s a very difficult situation, but I can tell you Willie Davis, the Harbor Master, and Chipper McDermott, the Mayor, are in support of us trying to do the best that we can not only to try to clear the harbor for other people but also to take care of our veteran.”
French has reached out to many asking for assistance and help to save his friend’s home.
“My number one goal is to assure he is safe and has a comfortable place to lay his head on the pillow tonight," French said. "In the near future, obviously he’s lost clothes and things of that nature, so we are working on that. We are making sure he has food and his bare necessities at this time.”
As far as removing the boat from the old Pass Christian Harbor, French is working with officials and others to assure the process is done properly and in a timely fashion.
“We actually have a company right now that is interested in helping us. That’s why we are down here right now -- we are in the process of measuring things out. We have to know exactly how far from hard surface (the boat is) to know what size of boom crane would be needed to accomplish a job like this and, at this point, we’re not even sure we can do that, but it’s certainly a viable option.”
Bennie says Adams has been staying the past few nights in a hotel, but his money has run out.
“We are just trying to salvage his boat and we have places we can tow it to and secure it," French said. "At this point, because of his history in the Navy and being on the water and his age, you know, he’s beginning now to understand that living on a boat is probably not in his best interest from this point forward, so our goal is to try to generate just a little bit of money off of the boat, salvage it to help him get on his feet and find something more permanent."
A relief fund for veteran Rob Adams has been set up. You can make a donation at any Hancock or Whitney Bank to assist in his recovery.