Sandy fails to dampen GAC Spirit

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    12 November 2012



New York, November 12 2012 - When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the US East Coast last week, it brought a record-breaking storm surge that flooded communities, wrecked homes and brought public transport in one of the world’s busiest cities to a halt. But it could not extinguish the GAC Spirit of support and determination.

New York and New Jersey suffered the worst of the damage. Power went out in large sections, and was not restored in some areas for days after the storm had passed. Fuel was in short supply and public transport was severely limited. Many places resembled ghost towns.

Once GAC’s New York Port Manager Lisa Doherty confirmed that her team were all safe and well, her next priority was getting on with business – with no electricity. Mobile phones helped but batteries could only last so long and temperatures had plummeted in the tri-state area, so it was important to get power as soon as possible.

Help came from colleagues elsewhere in the States, who responded to CEO Bob Bandos’ appeal for help in obtaining and sending generators to New York to enable the team to carry on. None could be found further north than Tampa in Florida, where GAC Port Manager Robert Huddlestone purchased and sent three generators on their way within five hours of receiving the request.

Lisa says: "The support we got – both practical and moral – was heart warming. In my twelve years working here, I have never seen a quicker response to a crisis."

GAC’s helping hand also extended beyond colleagues. When four fishermen were rescued by a vessel operated by key client VShips, it was the GAC USA community that pulled out all the stops to get them repatriated quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

CEO Bob Bandos says: "This perfect storm brought huge disruption to the area, but it also brought out the best in our people. Their ‘can do’ attitude and tremendous loyalty to one another is something I am enormously proud of."