Thursday 6th August 2009
By Damian Devine
What was a tragic end to one of The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Club vessels, Alfreds II, after she broke her mooring and ran aground on Terrigal Beach in early February 2008 has been a blessing in disguise for the people of Nimowa Island, in the Louisiade Archipelago, Papua New Guinea. After being written off as a total loss, RPAYC Club member Kevin Dunn purchased the vessel from the Insurance company and restored her to a seaworthy condition. Fast forward to August 2009 and the restoration project is now complete and Kevin is ready to deliver and donate her to the People of Nimowa Island, Papua New Guinea where she will be used as an ambulance and inter Island transport vessel.
With no doctor for 200 nautical miles and the only transport being
open 19ft banana boats with no seats, no safety gear and no spare motor
it’s obviously an important project for these people. “Eventually they
will stop the air service to Missima due to the cost and the lack of
clientele so the only way to get back to the mainland will be by this
vessel,” stated Kevin.
The restoration of the vessel has been a 15 month project and Kevin has worked tirelessly with a committed team of volunteers and charitable donors to repair the extensive damage to the hull and engine, that needed to be rebuilt after a few tonne of sand found refuge there after the beaching. After that came the waterproofing, the glassing of a piece of deadwood right along the bottom of the keel to stiffen up the whole boat, adding a stainless steel rubbing strip to prevent coral punching a hole in the bottom of the boat and the creative addition of a mast and sails to take advantage of the trade winds and to help save on the exorbitant fuel costs. To further save costs on fuel, the engine has the capacity to run on coconut oil, as well as diesel, and with no shortage of coconuts in the area, it's an economic and environmentally friendly solution.
| That was then!
|| This is now! Under sail on Pittwater
The final piece in the puzzle is that Kevin is seeking the donation of a 10 foot aluminum dinghy to put on the boat. Kevin wishes to thank the many volunteers who have assisted with the project an the kind donations of indiviuals and companies who have helped with parts and materials to restore her. As Kevin says, "without them this project would have been impossible to complete. It’s all been worthwhile, the mission and the people of Nimowa Island and the surrounding area won’t know themselves when we hand over this boat for them to get around and for its use as an ambulance and inter Island transport vessel.”
The new vessel, the Nimowa Island Ambulance departs next Wednesday 12th August from the RPAYC bound for Nimowa Island to some truly worthy recipients.
For more information or to make a donation please contact Kevin directly on 02 4977 2243 or 0418 441 151 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to original story - http://www.rpayc.com.au/latest-news/a-man-and-a-mission.html