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MIAMI – July 2, 2021 – In collaboration with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), Royal Caribbean Group docked Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas today at PortMiami to provide free housing and support for the tireless efforts of search and rescue teams working at the Surfside condo collapse.
“I want to thank Royal Caribbean for prioritizing the safety and well-being of our first responders at the Surfside Building Collapse,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “This resource will ensure our search and rescue teams have a quiet space to recover their mental and physical well-being as they work 12-hour shifts.”
Explorer will host approximately 600 emergency workers from around the world, providing a respite from their difficult shifts. Search and rescue teams — including their dogs — will arrive in groups of 80 at a time to the ship. Onboard, they will receive individual staterooms, hot meals, laundry service and WIFI.
“This tragedy in our own backyard is heart-wrenching,” said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group’s chairman and CEO. “Our thoughts are with the families and our whole community, and our thanks go out to the hardworking search and rescue teams. Providing them shelter is a small way to show our support.”
In order to accomplish this effort, the Royal Caribbean Group team and the ship’s leadership worked hand-in-hand with the Governor’s office, Miami-Dade County, FDEM, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to receive the necessary approvals within 24 hours.
“This incredible act of kindness and generosity from our friends at Royal Caribbean is deeply appreciated by our entire community. Over the past nine days, our first responders have been working under dangerous, stressful conditions to move our Search and Rescue mission forward through so many unprecedented challenges. These accommodations will provide them with a much-needed respite and opportunity to rest and recharge for their next shift and are yet another example of how our local and global community has come together in the aftermath of tragedy,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
“It’s been truly incredible. Our people have worked very hard to get everything organized and coordinated, in just a matter of hours, to be able to house so many workers,” said Fain. “We are here for our community – all of us.”
Explorer of the Seas began housing rescue teams yesterday and likely will continue for the next month. The shipwill be docked at Terminal F at PortMiami.