Apr 09, 2012

Sailors Without Borders Delivers Filters and Bottles to Haiti

Wishing Well International Foundation donated Hydraid Biosand filters

A pallet of Hydraid Biosand Filters and 500 stainless steel bottles was loaded aboard the SV Tranquility in early March for delivery to La Gonave, Haiti. The vessel sailed from West Palm Beach, Fla., and reached the island in mid-March, after 10 days at sea. The steel-hulled sailboat carried provisions, clothes, books, toys, computers and other items, in addition to the filters and bottles.

After receiving clearance from local authorities, the boat was unloaded and the crew delivered goods to several villages on the island off the coast of Haiti. Members of Sailors Without Borders (SWB) flew in and joined the Tranquility’s crew to help in the effort.

This was the last of many trips made by the Tranquility and its crew, Cameron, Leighia, Maya and Fynn Murray, who will be sailing to New Zealand after their mission to Haiti is complete. They expect to arrive in New Zealand in September.

Once the volunteers and crew arrived at their destination, they were greeted by about 100 children and parents. “At that point, we were able to hand out school shirts (made possible by a fundraiser at the Palm Beach Sailing Club) and stainless water bottles (donated by Wishing Well Foundation Intl. [WWIF]),” Captain Cameron Murray said. “We then explained that once we got the water filtration units up and running, the recipients would be able to use their water bottles to get clean, fresh drinking water. We also stressed the use of the stainless steel bottles to reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the sea. We pointed out that a large portion of the local diet comes from the sea, thus the need to preserve it and keep it free of debris. As sailors, we wanted to overstress the point that without the sea, we would not have been able to get there to provide assistance.”

The volunteers then took off to the highlands, where more filters and provisions were delivered. The SWB crew set up, installed the filters and instructed locals on how to use and maintain them.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank Sailors Without Borders and the Murrays for this great effort,” said Guillermo Guzman, founder of WWIF. “Preparing to sail to Haiti and then New Zealand was hard enough, but [it is] nothing compared to the day-to-day work performed once on the ground. We realize how important our partners are and we really appreciate their hard work. Without them, none of this would be possible.”