Fiji: Sea Mercy Supporting the Villages on the Outlying Islands

OCC member Jonathan Robinson of Sea Mercy put together a fleet of 7 yachts to go to the aid of some of the more remote islands on the North of Vanua Levu which was hit hard by cyclone Yasa. This report from the Ocean Cruising Club.

Published 2 years ago

Credit (c) Andrew Dallas: The photo shows supplies being donated to Galoa Island and you can see the destruction behind.

OCC member Jonathan Robinson of Sea Mercy put together a fleet of 7 yachts to go to the aid of some of the more remote islands on the North of Vanua Levu which was hit hard by cyclone Yasa. 

These are places hard to access for the shore-based support organisations.

The boats were loaded with 4 portable desalination plants, sanitation buckets donated by Oxfam and various tools and supplies. This is a job ideally suited to bluewater yachts as we can carry things, communicate through satellite and are self-sufficient.

The first and most important priority was to ensure that the villages we visited had water security. Without clean water, the risks to health following a disaster are an even bigger danger than the 325kph winds that destroyed so many homes and took 4 lives. Amongst other things the team were able to restore water supplies to many villages and install portable desalination units where they were required.

Arriving in the ‘zone’ we were met by devastation. For instance, on Yaqaga Island 23 of the 90 odd houses had ceased to exist. The owners had lost every single possession other than the clothes they were wearing when the storm hit. Despite this, the cries of ‘Bula’ and the welcome were as warm as ever. Only in Fiji could people smile and offer to share the very little they have with strangers in the face of such adversity.

All my professional life in insurance I dealt with hurricanes and earthquakes in terms of financial loss. This was seeing a catastrophe from a very human perspective and it was incredibly sobering.

Unfortunately, one of our 7 boats met a reef and suffered damage to a rudder but other than that it was a massively rewarding experience and a Christmas/New Year that we will never forget. We were so appreciated by the victims that it made it all so worthwhile.

Andrew & Julia Dallas
SY Hullabaloo

Read this report on the OCC Website.

http://www.seamercy.org/yasa

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Related Reports:

Fiji: Battered by Cyclone Yasa with winds up to 350km/h

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Noonsite.com or World Cruising Club.

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