SANIBEL, Fla. – Project DYNAMO is leading a group of military first responders, military veterans, and others to rescue Floridians who are in danger in the immediate aftermath of massive Category 4 Hurricane Ian.

The storm devastated Southwest Florida, churning for hours over Lee and Charlotte Counties after making landfall near Ft. Myers. Project DYNAMO is actively conducting maritime search and rescue operations beginning in Sanibel and Naples.

Specifically, Project DYNAMO will coordinate rescue efforts between an assortment of non-government groups, including the Aerial Recovery Group led by John Whisterspoon, the Cajun Navy’s Ground Force led by Jay Carter and Plain Companion Crisis Response (PCCR) led by Mervin Breier.

Project DYNAMO is based in Tampa and since its founding, has conducted thousands of rescues and evacuations of Americans and American allies stranded in war-torn areas abroad, including Afghanistan and Ukraine. Now, the group of rescuers is focusing their attention here at home in Central Florida.

“This is exactly what Project DYNAMO does,” said Bryan Stern, co-founder of Project DYNAMO. “Whether it’s abroad or right down the street, we answer the call to help our fellow Americans during times of extreme peril. As always, we’re well prepared for the challenges we’ll face, and we look forward to leading operations with our fellow good Samaritans.”

Most recently, the group extracted an American scientist from the clutches of Russian forces who have invaded Ukraine. Before that, DYNAMO conducted one of its most high-profile missions - Operation Gemini - in which it rescued three premature infants and their surrogate parents and safely delivered them to Poland.

“Our experience conducting these dangerous rescues makes us confident that we’ll be successful supporting and rescuing our neighbors starting in the Sanibel and Naples areas, and we have plans to quickly mobilize to other regions in the aftermath of this devastating storm,” said Stern. “Florida’s Gulf Coast hasn’t seen a catastrophe like this in over a century. We’re going to do everything possible for those in need, and we’re here for the long haul.”

Project DYNAMO is asking for community support in the form of donations of critical items, including fuel, medicine, food, water, clothing, baby supplies, medicine or funds.

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate rescue in Central Florida, or is interested in donating or contributing supplies, please visit to register for evacuation or to donate.

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