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Date: 22 Mar 2015 08:35:59
Title: Latest news on the disaster relief fleet

These are the first boats in the fleet,

This is the letter we got tonaight from Richard, in charge of Sea Mercy:

Captains my Captains!
 
Quick update on what is unfolding as we prepare for the DR work in Vanuatu.
 
We are still waiting for the written agreement to come from the Government of Vanuatu in order to lock down departure times for people. One of our first hand contacts in Vanuatu (he and his wife will be captaining Dragonfly next month) is reporting that it is a real mess (logistically) in Port Vila and that they are still trying to sort out who does what while the aid is sitting in the warehouses. From his perspective, very little is leaving Port Vila to the outer islands, but if we were to be there right now, we would be doing nothing but sitting and waiting. There is also reports of people (boaters) getting in trouble for helping without permission (no good deed goes unpunished). Let's sit tight until we have all the approval paperwork in place to avoid any such issues. I have Sea Mercy flags ordered and arriving on March 27th for John Ivey (Disaster Relief Director) to take with him to Fiji and Vanuatu to distribute to our Sea Mercy Disaster Relief captains. This will help the NDMO and team to recognize our vessels when they first arrive and when resupplying.
 
Good news:
My hat goes off to you captains who did an announcement out with a link to the Disaster Relief Fund for the Remote Islands of Vanuatu, for we have been receiving some donations and a lot of supporting emails asking how they can help. I have a Vanuatu Relief Flyer (pdf) attached for you to share with others and a poster (corrected by Staffan) that can be printed and posted for donations (email me if you want one). We also want to encourage volunteers (medical, solar, watermaking, construction, and agriculture professionals would be very handy right now) to join us if you know of someone. Please keep bumping your professional and personal networks. I'm looking for a major sponsor that can help in a big way so we can focus on more important things, so let me know if you know of one. :)
 
More good news:
Nigel Skeggs, Managing Director for Port Denarau Marina (Nadi, Fiji), is not only promoting our program to the sailing community in his area, he is also offering to have his marina be a staging point for in-kind donations until our vessels depart for Fiji. He is offering free moorage while passing through and will help organize clearance directly from the marina and cover the costs involved. He also posted a great article on his website/blog. Go here to read it: http://denaraumarina.com/sea-mercy-vanuatu-disaster-relief/
 
More good news:
Cam Murray of Trans Marine Pro (www.transmarinepro.co.nz) in New Zealand has offered to assist in whatever way he can to help our captains with their needs and is working to help us with Vanuatu contacts.
 
And Finally:
In appreciation of your kindness and sacrifice, I have posted an article on the FundRaising Page and our network (Facebook and Twitter) that talks about our DR captains (boats and names) and your hearts for service. If you do not want that listed, please let me know and I will remove your names.
 
I want to thank everyone again for their hearts and willingness to help the people in Vanuatu. Lots of great things are coming together, but we need to make sure the key items are in place to insure the safety and success of your efforts while in Vanuatu.  Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.
 
All the best to you,
 
Richard Hackett
President & Founder
Sea Mercy
www.seamercy.org
info {CHANGE TO AT} seamercy {DOT} org
541-935-5846

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