The “Eight & Ace” is perched precariously on land near the Trico Shrimp Company in the port of Matanzas. Beneath the shadow cast by the black and white hull of a shrimp fishing boat, sailors Oriel Martinez Alvarado and Javier Alan López passed away.
Dozens of flip-flops and HEYDUDE boat shoes (paired and unpaired) seemed to float from the Times Square store in Fort Myers Beach. They and others gathered what they found among the lumber, furniture and toys scattered around the shipyard on Friday afternoon and placed them on a concrete pillar that had fallen in the storm.
Fort Myers Beach’s long history of shrimp farming was the largest commercial shrimp fishing fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, but the storm surge of Hurricane Ian threw around huge boats that looked like bass toys, leaving most of them It got stuck on land, so it collided and stopped.
The area is home to the largest commercial shrimp fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, so you can trust your work in the area. But now Martinez, Lopez and other shrimp fishers are indefinitely unemployed.
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“We have a family waiting for us, but we have nothing. That’s our concern,” Martinez said in Spanish.
Before Ian, it was too late to evacuate. So they rode through all of the storm on a shrimp boat.
“We didn’t have time to leave or move because the highway was already congested,” Martinez said. “We couldn’t get away from it because we could have been killed if we hit it on the highway. We were stuck there.”
During the storm, Martinez and Lopez worried that the boat they were on, Ms. Shirley, would sink. So they boarded Big Daddy with her two other sailors.
“The whole boat was going round and round,” Lopez said.
The passage was dangerous. Martinez was injured after hitting his leg. They prayed for their safety.
“It was life or death, so all I could do was believe in God,” Martinez said.
“There is nothing else left to do,” Lopez added.
Information is limited after the storm. They don’t hear from their employers, and news is brought to them by passers-by.
“For now, they said there was a project coming, so I’m thinking about staying here. So I’m hoping we can get some work done,” Martinez said.
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With limited transportation, you can’t leave even if you want to.
“I’d like to work at least on land,” Lopez said. “It doesn’t matter. We’ll be there if we can.”
Hannah Morse covers consumer issues for The Palm Beach Post. Call her at [email protected], call 561-820-4833 or follow her on her Twitter @mannahhorse.
This article originally appeared in the Fort Myers News-Press. During Hurricane Ian, Shrimp survived the storm on a boat.now they are left without a job