Monday, December 16th, 2019

YachtAid Global – Managing hope for third world disasters

Published on April 13, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

Founded by Yacht Captain Mark Drewelow back in 2006, YachtAid Global is a charitable organisation that delivers much-needed supplies to communities around the world. From schoolbooks to medical equipment, superyachts are used to ‘change the world without changing course’. Its latest focus is Vanuatu.

2_2On March 13, Cyclone Pam ripped the small island nation of Vanuatu in the Pacific apart. The largest ever cyclone in the region, the damage was catastrophic and YachtAid Global immediately sprang into action asking for any yachts in Auckland or Australia, or indeed in and around the Islands themselves, to come and help with relief delivery. Using social and conventional media, word soon spread and the industry responded.

Amongst the yachts to come to the people of Vanuatu’s rescue was Umbra, a super-fast 50m axe-bow support yacht by Damen. Already built with the intention of carrying supplies and people on behalf of a superyacht mothership, Umbra was ideally suited to the task and YachtAid Global coordinated with owner and crew to load essential equipment for those in need.


73.3m Dragonfly also joined the effort, travelling 1,600 nautical miles and three and a half days to arrive at the scene with medical staff and supplies. Captain Mike Gregory said, “Dragonfly has extensively cruised the beautiful and remote areas of Vanuatu over the past two years. We were shocked and saddened to see the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam, and we know that the resources we have onboard can make a huge difference and will ultimately save lives.”

Leading superyacht magazine Boat International has published five ways how superyachts can continue the aid effort for Vanuatu:
1) Donate money to help Vanuatu
While this might seem the most obvious and usual way to help, what’s not typical is that YachtAid Global is pledging it will match monetary donations up to the first US$5,000, giving extra motivation to whip out that cheque book and make a charitable donation.

2) Deliver supplies to Vanuatu
As many locals survive on subsistence farming, growing their own food, they are going hungry because crops have been destroyed and there are no stores on many of the islands. Disaster relief – from food to medical supplies – can be delivered by yachts cruising in regions nearby the afflicted Vanuatu. Any yachts in the area can contact YachtAid Global, which is coordinating the delivery of supplies to the stricken areas.

3) Yachts can make water to aid Vanuatu
One of the biggest dangers is the lack of water, with reports that locals have had to resort to drinking dangerous seawater. A unique way that superyachts can help is to use their reverse osmosis water maker systems to provide freshwater to the islands, bringing life-saving relief.

4) Superyachts transport doctors and aid workers to Vanuatu
Beyond delivering supplies, superyachts can also help by bringing doctors and aid workers. Y.CO has reported that the yacht it manages, 73m Dragonfly, is doing just that by transporting medical teams and aid from the island nation’s capital to more remote areas.

5) Help Vanuatu by donating clothes, medical supplies and food in Auckland
For yachts and other concerned parties located in New Zealand, YachtAid Global has also set up drop-off points Auckland where clothes and other goods can be donated, and the supplies will then be delivered to Vanuatu.



The man behind YachtAid Global, Mark Drewelow, has a long history of yachting around the world. He joined his first yacht the summer of 1984 in the Med and stepped ashore in 2004 in San Diego.

During that 20-year period he worked up from small sailboats through to captaining a vessel on a ten-year circumnavigation. A lot of his time afloat was spent in third world countries, and when he set up San Francisco port agency C2C just over a decade ago, Mark wanted to be effective at corporate responsibility and give back to the communities he’d visited and who’d looked after him so well.

He had this idea of using superyachts to transport school supplies and medical aid around the world – without affecting their itinerary.

YachtAid Global started with a few magazine articles, word of mouth, talking with captains and crew on the C2C database, and now the organisation orchestrates the delivery of disaster relief and development and conservation aid to coastal communities worldwide. YachtAid Global has been active in Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico, Bali, Alaska and, of course, Vanuatu.

Please visit for more information.


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