Australian Sailing has given assistance to the sailing and medical teams aboard the Westernport-based sailing vessel Chimere which is in Vanuatu until October. The boat is visiting remote villages on approximately 30 islands in the country to provide dental, medical and optometry services. The boat’s co-owner, Mr Robert Latimer, says the clinics are made possible with the support of the Vanuatu Ministry of Health, The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu and the generosity of private donors.
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The caps and clothing supplied by the Australian Sailing are much appreciated by the local people and are being distributed to fisherman and sailors who need eye protection from the strong sun, and as incentives to people of all ages for clinic attendance.
Some of the caps and clothing have been given to the Vanuatu Cruising Yacht Club (https://vanuatucruisingyachtclub.org). Their members lost many keelboats during Cyclone Pam and currently have an emphasis on dinghy sailing.
The items from Australia are being given to youth sailors of the club; some of these have already competed in regattas among Pacific island nations. The club is situated in Port Vila a few hundred metres from the cruise terminal at the Port Vila Boatyard. It welcomes all sailors to their beachside bar for a drink or meal on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.
More information on the Chimere, including daily reports while on medical missions, can be found at msm.org.au