Hurricane Harvey rescue trip a taxing ordeal

Hurricane Harvey Nate Weissman
Charter Capt. Nate Weissman was part of a group of local charter captains who traveled to Texas last week. Nate Weissman Facebook | Submitted

BRADENTON – Bradenton resident and full-time local charter captain Nate Weissman was among those who traveled from Cortez to Texas last week to assist with the hurricane relief efforts in Texas.

On Sunday, Weissman, who is back home, shared his thoughts on the experience via his Facebook posts.

“I am feeling an emotion I’m not familiar with. In all honesty, I’ve done a lot of crying since we got to Texas Thursday. It’s not sadness, I don’t think. I could be wrong. I’m mostly OK, but I will have moments where I think about how frustrating the whole situation was; and it’ll be a little tear to a complete breakdown. I feel good. I’m in good spirits. I’m home with my wife and dog. I get my kid Tuesday.

“I went to Texas with an expectation and what I got didn’t meet that expectation. That’s where my frustration lies. The most important lesson I’ve learned from this disaster in Texas is don’t wait. I should have had my boat headed to Texas when the urge first struck me on Sunday. Next time I’m hooking my boat and hauling ass to help immediately. I can’t help but think if I got there quicker I could have maybe saved someone that didn’t make it out.”

He and the others can still some solace in the fact that the Cortez caravan of trucks, trailers and trailered boats delivered much-needed supplies to Texans.

“I know we did made a difference; maybe not so much in the numbers of rescues, but with the donation of supplies and all that. But, these supplies would’ve gotten on that truck just as fast without me. Those supplies would’ve got to Texas where they were dropped just as fast without me,” Weissman wrote.

The brief but taxing trip left a lasting impression.

“I went with a few friends, a few acquaintances and a few complete strangers. What I had when I left were brothers and sisters. Some of us are home now for various reasons. Some of us are still there doing good. And some of us are stuck in limbo. Hurricane Harvey taught me a lot about myself and about people. Hurricane Harvey taught me how to handle helping in a disaster and I wouldn’t hesitate to rush to help again.”