After three days of relief efforts, the Esperanza has left Samoa

by Mike Gaworecki

October 5, 2009

Teams from professional disaster relief agencies are now firmly in place in Samoa. With the agreement of local authorities, the Esperanza has left the area and returned to our campaign in the Pacific Ocean.

We were close by when the tsunami hit and were able to help immediately. For three days we transported and donated supplies of fuel, water, medicine and food, and carried out aerial surveys with our helicopter.

Before departing Samoa we offered our assistance to the nearby island nation of Tonga, but it was not needed.

We are thankful we were on hand to support the people of Samoa and our thoughts remain with them, as well as with American Samoa and Tonga, as they begin to rebuild their communities.

The Esperanza had previously been in Samoa just this past July. This was certainly not the way the crew had imagined going back, but they are very happy to have been of service to the many brave Samoans they met back then.

We have now returned to the high seas, where we’re campaigning to create a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans (read the Defending Our Pacific blog for more). Such a network would give protection to vulnerable areas like the high seas pockets between Pacific islands’ national waters, which are currently being overfished by foreign fleets and threatening the health of the tuna stocks and therefore the livelihoods of local communities.

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