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Fort Myers Beach fishing charter helping community as Ian forces them to shut down over holiday weekend

Fox 4
Posted at 5:39 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 19:54:28-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Taking life one day at a time seems to be a shared perspective for many of us after Hurricane Ian.

“If we even think about tomorrow, it gets overwhelming,” said John Guantt, Captain of Day 5 Charters out of Fort Myers Beach.

Overwhelming, indeed. Guantt said that while his two boats survived Ian, his home was destroyed.

Since Ian, crews have continued to collect, remove and scrap boats that were displaced during the storm.

It's the reason why Sunshine Ace Hardware in Bonita Springs is hoping to help local fishermen over the holiday weekend by offering a 20% discount on fishing equipment for all licensed captains.

“My boats are the only thing that survived," said Gauntt.

Gauntt said Day 5 Charters won't be able to hit the water again until at least December, something he was unsure of just days after Hurricane Ian.

“When we saw the Exodus still on the floating dock at the marina, Fish Tale Marina, my wife and I started weeping,” said Gauntt.

During that time Gauntt said he started giving free ferry rides to people travelling to Sanibel while the causeway was closed.

“We literally told people 'We don't need a dime,'” said Gauntt.

Gauntt said despite the destruction, he's taken more away from the storm than the storm did from him.

“This is the weirdest thing, losing everything is one of the best resets you can have in life because you realize what's important," said Gauntt.