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Fiji: Sea Mercy's Work in the Pacific in response to Cyclone Winston

By Sea Mercy — last modified Feb 29, 2016 09:50 AM
Cyclone Winston’s 300+kmh winds and storm surge has devastated the island nation of Fiji and the people living on the remote islands have experienced the heaviest brunt of the impact.

Published: 2016-02-29 11:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: Fiji , New Zealand

As Sea Mercy responded in Tonga in 2014 (cyclone Ian) and in Vanuatu in 2015 (cyclone Pam), they are once again sending a volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to the hundreds of “at risk” islands.

There are three ways as to how you can assist the people of Fiji during this difficult time:

Direct Donation – for the immediate purchase of shelter, food, tools and medical supplies.

In-Kind Donation – for the ongoing recovery efforts on the remote islands.

Volunteer – Medical, vessel captain, construction, labor, or other.

Sea Mercy Fiji - Current Response & Partnerships

Sea Mercy was selected to work directly with Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) leadership for the coordination of Sea Mercy vessels and aid to those stricken remote islands and villages that no longer can be accessed by road. The NDMO has provided Sea Mercy with a dedicated office and staff member to work directly with the NDMO Commissioner to speed communication and tasking of assignments for the group of volunteer vessels.

Because the first initial days are crucial, Sea Mercy is avoiding the initial “international aid bottleneck” that can occur during the first few weeks by purchasing and staging as much crucial aid as possible (shelter, food, water containers, medical supplies, filters, etc.) for their vessels to deliver to meet those emergency needs. They have also formed a working partnership with ShelterBox in order to respond quickly with essential aid.

Sea Mercy currently have 10 active local vessels in Fiji (new vessels joining daily) and a growing fleet of yachts preparing to sail from NZ, AUS and Tahiti to join them. 

Sea Mercy Recovery Fleet

The second phase of Sea Mercy's response, the Recovery Fleet, will begin operations at the end of cyclone season.

Sea Mercy's experiences in Vanuatu last year after Cyclone PAM proved that small teams of cruising boats, working together, can make a significant contribution to the recovery of devastated remote islands.

The muster port for New Zealand will be Opua (Bay of Islands). Briefings are planned to commence there on 25 April 2016, with a view to departing at the first suitable weather window thereafter.

Sea Mercy have several vessels north and east of Fiji in Tonga and The Marshall islands as well as some in Savusavu, Fiji. A second rally point and tasking will be determined for that group.

Skippers wishing to volunteer their vessels should submit their details using the Sea Mercy Volunteer button on this page - http://seamercyupdates.blogspot.com

www.seamercy.org
info@seamercy.org

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