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Superyacht responds to Fiji after Cyclone Evan

by Sanele Chadwick/Sail-World Cruising on 23 Dec 2012
Big Fish is heading for Fiji with relief supplies after Cyclone Evan .. .
When superyachts make the news - and they do it often - it is usually about the expensive lifestyle they support, how many helicopter pads, jetskis, escape submersibles, or other luxury items they feature. But here's a superyacht making news with a very unusual angle - they're helping others in need.

A super yacht called Big Fish is preparing to set sail from Auckland to Fiji to give aid to those affected by cyclone damage. Cyclone Evan ripped through Fiji on Monday, destroying homes, uprooting trees, and leaving many without power. A state of emergency still exists in the popular holiday destination.

Now local communities, businesses and the crew of the super yacht are banding together to help.

The Big Fish has sailed around the globe and visited some of the most luxurious locations, but captain Winston Joyce-Clarke says its next voyage will be worthwhile.

'We are going to be taking supplies up to Fiji for the guys, in terms of relief, for the guys who have lost most of what they have up there,' he says.

The Big Fish was previously scheduled to dock there empty, but Mr Joyce-Clarke says a decision was made to make better use of the space on board. 'This is a very noble cause in terms of turning up with something that can really help people, and hey, it's Christmas,' he says.

The programme is run by non-profit organisation Yacht Aid Global, which also helped take supplies over during the Fiji floods in April.

The organisation works by using space onboard super yachts to take donations to countries that need aid, such as Fiji.

Superyacht Support owner Jeanette Tobin has been co-ordinating the relief effort from New Zealand, and says she is overwhelmed with peoples' response.

'Without people like that, that give their boats, and the space then we wouldn't be doing any of this,' she says.

The yacht space will allow for nearly $30,000 worth of freight to make it to Fiji for free.

Donations include bedding, water, stationery and antiseptics, which should arrive just in time for the New Year.

Good work, Big Fish!

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