Offshore Sailing School escapes major damage

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Offshore Sailing School escaped major damage last Friday when Hurricane Charley cut a path of destruction through its neighborhood. Seven Colgate 26s, a Hunter 35 and 46-footers, the Mainship 30 trawler and a 17-foot Cobia escaped the storm’s fury, the school said in a release today.

“Our staff really did a great job securing the boats,” said school founder Steve Colgate. “We lost a couple of masts and have some cosmetic damage to fix, but are thankful it was off-season and many of our boats were in northern branches.”

The Moorings in Clearwater, Fla. immediately stepped in and set up a dedicated line to call-forward Offshore’s toll free line, after its phones were knocked out. South Seas Resort’s Vacation Planning Center also rallied to the school’s aid, despite its own widespread problems. The center set up a desk and dedicated phone to take calls from a special number posted on Offshore’s Web site.

The Offshore headquarters in Ft. Myers is again operational. However, the 40th Anniversary Alumni Reunion scheduled for Oct. 28-31 has been postponed. Those who signed up to take a course on Captiva between now and December have the option of going to any of the school’s other locations.

Steve and Doris Colgate said they wished to thank their many partners and friends who have expressed concern, and gave special thanks to their Ft. Myers-Captiva team who rallied to keep the company going despite the wrath of the storm.

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