Wikus Botes

My name is Roy Hodges. I am originally from Kentucky and I have been a captain since 1994. I am so grateful to lead the team on the 73m Motor Yacht Laurel. We have an amazing program and a very generous owner that allowed us to deliver relief aid to Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. We also brought 50 dogs to the US from the Humane Society of the Bahamas. We saw some beautiful reunions of people with their pets and some found homes for the first time.


Im the Chief Officer onboard M/Y Laurel we have an amazing owner great Captain and crew. This is an great honor to be nominated for the ACREW awards. I believe this nomination is more for Laurel and all the crew involved rather than just for myself. I worked closely with the different organisations and our Captain to make everything a reality in the end but this was a team effort.

MY Laurel did relief work in the Bahamas straight after hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The northern islands of the Bahamas got the worst of it. Our crew made a short video of our relief work which explains everything so good.

It took allot of organization to make all of this happen as you can imagine with natural disasters like this the people of the Bahamas was in absolute shock and devastation. We were one of the first yachts on scene and ready to help. Humane society in Nassau helped with getting the dogs off the islands that got hit hardest by Dorian. The pups were not all stray dogs some of them were found sitting on top of their ruined homes where they used to live, stranded without their family. At this point only people were transported off the islands and they had to leave their pets behind. I’m happy to say that some of the pups got reunited with their owners. We rescued 50 dogs from the islands and brought them back to West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. On arrival Big Bog Ranch Rescue was ready to take all pups to the ranch where they were in quarantine for 2 weeks before they got put up for adoption. All 50 pups got adopted pretty quickly after they got cleared by the vets.

At the same time we also worked with Yacht Aid Global and they delivered 50 tons of supplies (First Aid Kits/Hygiene products/Food/Water/Tarps/Horse food…) to us in Nassau and we transported this to Freeport. The relief and gratitude on the faces of the people in Freeport when we arrived with the supplies was just heartwarming and devastating at the same time. The owner of MY Laurel didn’t even think twice or ask questions when we requested permission to use his yacht to do this relief work.

My Laurel’s owner actually has several rescue pups himself and recently started his own foundation for rescue dogs called Bailey and friends. Since our relief work in September we’ve fostered a few pups onboard and got them permanent homes. Every time Laurel goes to the Bahamas we rescue pups and bring them back to Big Dog Ranch Rescue. We’ve build a strong relationship with BDRR and we will keep working together to rescue more dogs from the islands.