Superyacht owners and crews are joining the international aid effort to help rebuild Vanuatu, after the island paradise was devastated by Cyclone Pam last weekend.
Already on the move towards Vanuatu is the 73-metre Dragonfly, launched at Hanseatic Marine in 2009 and under management with Y.CO. At the owner’s request, the yacht is heading for the main harbour at Port Vila and is expected to arrive on Saturday. Her crew will assist with disaster relief work, and transporting aid, search-and-rescue and medical teams from Port Vila to isolated communities on the outlying islands, where the devastation caused by the winds that gusted to 200mph was most severe.
With major aid agencies on the ground in Vanuatu, the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam on the main islands is being tackled. “Most of our staff have been left with broken homes and are in a desperate plight. We have had some of our clients and friends offer to help financially support the rebuilding of our team’s homes,” says Justin Jenkin of Vanuatu Yacht Services.
“Unfortunately, the majority of boats, yachts, fishing vessels that were in the harbour have sunk or run aground with severe damage,” he says.
“The people of Vanuatu are so grateful that there was not much more loss of life, and are all hard at work clearing debris, sawing trees and rebuilding homes. The positive attitude, self sufficiency, community values and work ethic of the Ni-Vanuatu is truly remarkable and admirable. I’d say the biggest story is how incredibly resilient and upbeat the people of this amazing archipelago are,” he adds.
Although there is much work to do, such has been the effort so far that Vanuatu Yacht Services is looking forward to welcoming superyachts this season.
SuperYacht World will keep you updated on the rebuilding efforts over the coming weeks.