Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Floating Doctors - bringing relief to the developing world

by Sail-World Cruising on 27 Jun 2011
Floating Doctors - medicos who go sailing to relieve suffering in the developing world .. .
Floating Doctors is an all-volunteer, non-profit medical relief team dedicated to reducing the present and future burden of disease in the developing world. They go sailing to effect their mission.

It all started in Tanzania, 2005 with an empty backpack once filled with medical supplies. An aspiring American medical student was burdened with a sense unfulfillment when his supplies ran dry and scores of sick and injured villagers were left untreated.


Dr. Benjamin La Brot, from Topanga in California, remembers treating those with wounds, infections, and other ailments at the Masai Village. But what he remembers most about his trip is running out of medication and supplies before having the chance to treat the entire village. This powerless, overwhelming feeling served as motivation for the 33-year-old doctor to plan for a new mission; a mission to transcend the concept of providing effective aid and relief on an international scale that is both economically and environmentally friendly.

Inspired with his new idea, four years later La Brot headed a nonprofit group called the Floating Doctors who sailed for a year-long medical mission aboard a 76-foot sailboat that carried 15 crew members and 20,000 pounds of medical supplies.

They sailed to 15 countries in Latin America and the Pacific Islands. Their boat, Southern Wind, was donated by a Florida couple. A volunteer crew repaired the old boat into a fully functioning mobile medical vehicle. They visited Haiti, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Tuamotu Archipelago, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Melanesia.

Now, in a new expedition, since May of 2010, a dedicated permanent crew and many visiting volunteers have voyaged to Haiti and along the Atlantic coast of Central America on their own year-long medical mission to provide supplies and assistance to existing relief groups, and to carry health services to remote locations that are cut off from care.

Floating Doctors works with local officials, relief groups and community leaders to identify and address specific needs in communities. Whether it be doing mobile clinics for remote island communities, providing advanced life support training for the fire department on Roatan, lending hands and the expertise of our volunteers in local clinics, coordinating and delivering supply shipments from international donors to local groups, or even transporting 12,000 pounds of lumber and material to Haiti and building two schools, Floating Doctors is about leaving the biggest possible, longest-term health benefits for the lowest expenditure of resources.

As the founder of the group Dr. Benjamin La Brot says, 'The Law of the Sea is always ‘stop and help’ because you never know when it might be YOU in trouble far away from any assistance. And if we all stopped and helped just a little, together we could accomplish great things.

'Sailing has made my dream possible, so I feel pretty indebted to those who came before and especially to those who, in the future, I hope will still have the opportunity hold their hand on the tiller and the feel of blue water under their keel.'

To learn more about this inspiring organisation, The Floating Doctors, and maybe donate, please visit their website at http://floatingdoctors.com/

Watch just one story below of a man the Floating Doctors discovered with a broken arm, untreated for two years:

T Clewring - GenericBarz Optics - Melanin LensesWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup World Series - Ian Roman's images of Pompey
Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series capturing the Royal visitors Top international photographer, Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this second of two galleries of the racing across the three days of the regatta, taking in the Royal visitors.
Posted on 26 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
LV America’s Cup World Series - Up and down for Groupama Team France
The new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races 2016 America’s Cup World Series - This weekend the overall ranking for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series has been turned on its head and with the Portsmouth act complete, the new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races by strong support from a home crowd.
Posted on 25 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series - Land Rover BAR take two from two
While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series - While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today, it wasn't enough to topple the fast and furious tenacity of a Ben Ainslie led Land Rover BAR on the final day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.
Posted on 25 Jul
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - More images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony. 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted on 25 Jul
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted on 25 Jul
America's Cup - Southern Spars to build AC50 for Emirates Team NZ
Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran One of the world's leading composite engineering companies, Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran for the 35th America’s Cup campaign. The move marks a shift away from Cookson Boats who have been Team New Zealand's boatbuilder since 2000. No reasons have been given for the decision to change the builder.
Posted on 24 Jul
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand foiled in Portsmouth
Super Sunday saw more breeze in Portsmouth today, giving all the teams the opportunity for fast racing up on their foils Super Sunday saw more breeze in Portsmouth today, giving all the teams the opportunity for fast racing up on their foils. For Emirates Team New Zealand the regatta finished as realistically expected when lining up to race against an exceptionally strong fleet with with a almost entirely rejigged crew due to Blair Tuke and Peter Burling’s absence in their build up to the Rio Olympics in the 49e
Posted on 24 Jul
LV America’s Cup World Series – Big Ben takes a big win in Portsmouth
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to present the awards and it was a fitting end to an amazing weekend. It really was Super Sunday for Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR whose second place in the last of Sunday’s three races gave them the overall regatta win at the Portsmouth event.
Posted on 24 Jul