Medical ship plans to extend services


A 37-metre long schooner yacht, the s/y Ruach, arrived in Alotau, Milne Bay, on Saturday as part of its maiden voyage to Papua New Guinea.
The yacht was recently acquired by the YWAM Ships Newcastle for deployment to PNG.
It will later join YWAM Medical Ships efforts in reaching remote coastal and island communities.
YWAM Ships Newcastle managing director, David Stephenson, pictured, said the operations of the vessel would be a collaborative effort between national and provincial health and maritime authorities, and a range of volunteers from around the world.
“We are really in a stage of exploring how the Ruach can best serve the nation,” Stephenson said.
“We have been meeting with various stakeholders to discuss possible locations and health and training activities for the Ruach and our volunteers.
“We look forward to welcoming many of these leaders aboard over the coming weeks to map out the vessel’s first deployment.”
PNG patron for YWAM Medical Ships, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, said it was great to see YWAM Ships’ work expanding in Papua New Guinea.
“There are currently 291 inhabited islands throughout the country,” Sir Rabbie said.
“The Ruach is best suited for serving some of these islands that have limited access to healthcare and training.
“The Ruach’s deployment is a great step toward helping to overcome some of the isolation challenges in our island communities,” he said.
A Swiss charity known as Jurgenheim Sternen AG gifted the Ruach, a former sail training vessel, to YWAM after investing K12 million into a refit back in 2010.
The vessel arrived in Australia for the first time in January after her 14,000 nautical mile voyage from the Netherlands.

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