Rivergate Marina’s owners have extensively travelled the islands of Vanuatu; engaging with and immersing themselves into the local communities. They’ve established a personal rapport and compassion for the people they have met throughout their years of involvement there; constructing a local school, and making donations of what many would consider the most basic necessities; clothes, school books and stationary, reading glasses, sunglasses and hats. It is no surprise then, that the Rivergate team have quickly offered their assistance again in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam.
Hitting landfall on March 13th, 2015, Tropical Cyclone Pam is considered one of the worst natural disasters ever experienced by the people of Vanuatu; leaving an aftermath of overwhelming devastation. The latest reports indicate that over 65,000 people are now homeless and over 110,000 are left without safe drinking water. Vanuatu is now in desperate need for immediate, and ongoing, international aid and support.
Rivergate Marina and Shipyard, working in conjunction with YachtAid Global, is doing what they can to provide relief to the disaster affected country. YachtAid representatives and activist are on the ground in Vanuatu and report that “Rivergate’s support comes a critical time” for the community.
The donation made by Rivergate has made a substantial impact already. Providing, so far, 2,300 ten litre water containers in addition to boxes of 500ml water bottles aiming to assist with the urgent need for clean, safe, drinking water, as well as empty pallets, 20 cargo bags for use with heli-ops and other equipment including large quantities of clothing, hats, a chainsaw and jet-fuel for choppers. Rivergate Marina and Shipyard’s General Manager, Andrew Cannon said, “We’re doing what we can to help the people of Vanuatu who were all affected by this catastrophic and heartbreaking event and we’re calling on others to do what they can”.
It was organised for chase-boat “UMBRA”, with helicopter support, to deliver the cargo into Port Vila on Thursday last week. UMBRA was undergoing works in Auckland, New Zealand when the cyclone hit; changing course to immediate route to Port Vila where Rivergate’s emergency supplies were distributed to those in need, reaching islands where there has been no prior contact or aid provided.
“I’m really proud of the Rivergate team and what Yacht Aid Global has achieved”, Cannon stated, “It’s impressive to see what the Superyacht industry is capable of in times like this”. But, Rivergate importantly note that the need for assistance in Vanuatu is far from over, with many suggesting the relief effort will need to be ongoing for months to come, to help the community get back on its feet. A number of private companies and vessels have signed up to assist with the ongoing efforts.
If you would like to get involved visit http://www.yachtaidglobal.org/wp/.