The outstanding 73m motor yacht Dragonfly was deployed to Vanuatu to provide disaster relief, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam on March 14, 2015. Captain Mike Gregory of mega yacht Dragonfly has released the video below, showing the work that the striking Dragonfly and her crew performed, highlighting the possible use of resources onboard yachts in such disaster zones. The video was filmed on location by the Dragonfly Team and produced by Film Maker and Engineer Shaun O’Callaghan.
“Whilst onboard in the week leading up to the 14th March, the crew and I were watching a storm develop in the South Pacific with trepidation. Having spent the past few years cruising these beautiful areas we have made many friends and developed relationships with the local communities in these island groups. Unfortunately our fears were realized when the storm became a Cat 5 Cyclone and on the 14th March it ran straight over the top of the remote island chain of Vanuatu, 1,000 Miles East of Australia.
It was a horrible feeling knowing that the people of Vanuatu were suffering and we felt compelled to assist in whatever way we could. After a discussion the Owners fully supported the decision to head south and assist those same people that had been so hospitable to us in recent years’ – Captain Mike Gregory – Dragonfly
‘The team that we have on Dragonfly are exceptional, we have over recent years developed our medical training program and all crew are highly trained with 5 EMT’s & a Dr onboard we were well positioned to act as first response on the many islands that we visited.”
Superyacht Dragonfly was tasked with the remote islands North of Efate (The Capital of Port Vila) in the Shefa Province and on arrival the Dragonfly Team was shocked by the level of damage. Their tasking included Medical Response, Delivery of Food and Water, Delivery and construction of Shelter and providing Intel back to the Disaster Management team on the ground in Port Vila.
The Dragonfly Team worked closely with Sam & Jess Bell from Kaleva Yachting Services who have an agency based in Vanuatu and were an invaluable local resource.
After seven days on the ground working in the more remote areas of Vanuatu, the Dragonfly Team was shocked daily by the level of damage and destruction that Cyclone Pam had caused. They found villages that were still waiting for aid nearly two weeks after the storm and are down to their last days of food stocks. Many of these villages have no fresh water source.
The Dragonfly Team mission statistics are:
■ Discharged and staged over 62,000 litres of fresh water in 21 villages (9 Islands)
■ Attended to over 250 casualties/patients and assessed many more.
■ Facilitated 3 medical evacuations
■ Cleared numerous helicopter Landing Zones for ongoing support
■ Cleared access roads and removed fallen trees from buildings
■ Delivered and/or erected shelter in multiple villages
The Dragonfly Team was very sad to leave Vanuatu and hopes that the international and yachting community continue to support them as they rebuild this beautiful country.
Captain Mike Gregory and the Dragonfly Team encourages all who can to donate to one of the many charities aiding the relief efforts, and they would like to note the great work that is being done by Yacht Aid Global.