Published on 2nd October 2015
This week, VSA played a small role in the rescue of three fishermen who had been stranded in a small dinghy off Nukunono Atoll in Tokelau.
The men had been lost at sea for over 30 hours in a small aluminium boat, without life jackets, food or water, before finally being spotted from the air just before dark on Wednesday. A local barge was sent to pick them up and they stayed the night at Atafu before returning to base the next day.
In co-ordination with the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand and Tokelau locals, the VSA SAT phone was used to make the call from the Royal NZ Airforce plane to the search barge to let them know where the missing boat was. VSA volunteer Louise Thornley, who is based in Tokelau, said there was a huge celebration awaiting the rescued men on their return.
Thankfully, this resulted in a happy ending for all involved. But it's a timely reminder of the importance of building resilience in communities that have higher disaster risk. Increasing resilience and reducing disaster risk are key to the UN's new Sustainable Development Agenda designed to build on the original global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) over the next 15 years.
You can read the full story of the rescue on the NZ Herald website.