Navy veteran homeless after saving lives in Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian

(NewsNation) — Doug McGill is a Navy veteran whose houseboat was decimated during Hurricane Ian. Flipped to the side, tossed and mangled — now he is unsure where to go.

“I decided to stay on the boat because it’s my home,” McGill said on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Friday.

His home is now a total loss — parked on the side of the road leading to Fort Myers Beach, where the Category 4 hurricane unleashed some of its worst devastation.

Video from last week shows rising floodwaters several feet high and in the middle of it all is McGill, who also says he saved three people trapped inside a house.

“The boat was slamming into the side of the building, and they stuck their head out the window. They had about a foot before the water had them trapped in there, and they popped out the window and they jumped into a dingy and from the dingy I got them into the boat,” said McGill.

The right spot at the right time — or the worst time, as McGill tells it. Either way, McGill is thankful to be alive, although still grappling with the question of what he’ll do next.

“I sacrificed the boat and just out of the way the wind blew me, it blew me up against the building to save three guys’ lives. Other than that … there’s my home. I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I actually don’t know what I’m going to do,” McGill said.

For now, McGill stays with friends. His son also started a GofundMe page to help him get back on his feet.

“My father Doug McGill, a grandfather, a veteran, was completely devastated by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida. He lives on his sailboat behind an awesome local restaurant that was demolished as well. His only mode of transportation, a motorcycle, was found blocks away under debris flooded and completely destroyed. He doesn’t have much so what little he does have is valued greatly. This is all lost now. Any help he would greatly appreciate. God bless Unfortunately I am unable to help since I’m 1900 miles away in South Dakota,” it reads.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022