In the wake of Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 storm that leftVanuatu in ruins, YachtAid Global and the owner and crew of the 73-meter M/Y Dragonfly have deployed the yacht to thedestroyed islands to provide relief assistance.
According to CNN, Pam is the South Pacific’s secondstrongest cyclone since record keeping began in 1970. Known as the “monster”cyclone, she ripped through in a fury on March 13, with winds that gusted up to185 miles per hour and veered off her expected course to hit Vanuatu earlySaturday local time.
Cyclone Pam brought water surges and destroyed homes, cropsand shops and leaving some of outermost islands without communication and tensof thousands of people homeless. According to BBC, while the extent of damageis still uncertain, the islands of Tanna and Efate suffered the most destructionand 90 percent of the homes in the capital of Port Vila have been damaged,although the capital has seen water and power restored in some areas. BBC alsoreports that here is a heavy need for shelter, food and fresh drinking water,as victims have resorted to drinking saltwater.
True to its nature, YachtAid Global began seeking yachts toassist with humanitarian and relief aid, and the owner of M/Y Dragonfly was the first to jump on theboat. According to a press release from Y.CO, the vessel’s management company, the yachtwill not only assist with major disaster relief work, but also transport aid, SARand medical teams from Port Vila to the isolated outlying islands that remainwithout communication.
As of today, the 51-meter support yacht Umbra has joined the relief effort and is expect to arrive inVanuatu next week, according to reports.
Any other yachts that can join these two in providing reliefdelivery can contact Capt. Mark Drewelow immediately viaemail at firstname.lastname@example.org.YachtAid Global has also set up drop-off points in Auckland, New Zealand, for vesselsand crew in the area to donate clothes, medical supplies and food, which willbe delivered to Vanuatu. Those who aren’t in the area can still help by makinga contribution here.YachtAid Global will match donations up to $5,000.
Stay tuned for more information as itcomes. For more about Vanuatu, visit:
Nearly a week after arriving in Vanuatu, the M/Y Dragonfly team has made huge strides inproviding relief to the victims of Cyclone Pam. According to Capt. Mike Gregoryof M/Y Dragonfly, they have deliveredand erected shelter in multiple villages, removed fallen trees from buildingsand cleared access roads and helicopter landing zones for ongoing support.
“After six days on the ground working in the more remoteareas of Vanuatu, we have been shocked daily by the level of damage anddestruction that Cyclone Pam has caused,” Gregory wrote in an update providedby Y.CO, the vessel’s management company. “We have found villages that arestill waiting for aid nearly two weeks after the storm and are down to theirlast days of food stocks. Many of these villages have no fresh water source.”
So far, M/Y Dragonflyalso has facilitated three medical evacuations, attended to more than 220casualties or patients and discharged and staged more than 50,000 liters offresh water in 10 villages. Efforts will continue into the weekend, and Capt.Gregory hopes to reach 80,000 liters of water.
He added, “I am incredibly proud of what the team on board hasachieved in responding to the emergency here in Vanuatu, and we are all gladthat we have been able to give something back to those that were so hospitableto us.”
Watch the crew of M/Y Dragonfly making a difference in Vanuatu at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os5gfk3l5Qo
Rivergate Marina, in conjunction with YachtAid Global, isthe latest to offer assistance following Tropical Cyclone Pam, which has had asignificant effect in Vanuatu so far.
Addressing the desperate need for clean drinking water inthe region, Rivergate has provided 2,300 10-liter water containers and boxes of500-milliliter water bottles. It has also distributed empty pallets, 20 cargobags for use with heli-ops and other equipment such as clothing, hats, achainsaw and jet-fuel for choppers. M/Y Umbrahelped deliver Rivergate’s emergency supplies to Port Vila, reaching islandsthat were cut off from communication and had not yet received aid.
In a press release, Rivergate’s general manager Andrew Cannonsaid, “We’re doing what we can to help the people of Vanuatu who were allaffected by the catastrophic and heartbreaking event and we’re calling onothers to do what they can.”
Photos below are courtesy of M/Y Dragonfly.