Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Raceboats 2016/17 RS Feva 728x90

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 SW
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:

Navico AUS Zeus3S FOOTERNorth Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERRolly Tasker Sails 2019 728x90 Footer

Related Articles

Unprecedented vision. Unparalleled objectives.
After a week's worth of deep immersion into the SSL Gold Cup, many things have become evident. Having been afforded a week's worth of deep immersion into the SSL Gold Cup, many things have become evident.
Posted today at 10:00 pm
NEW Summer Rooster Ts
Technical in fabric with quick drying and UV50+ properties Technical in fabric with quick drying and UV50+ properties, yet in appearance it looks and feels like a t-shirt that you can wear for everyday style.
Posted today at 3:00 pm
ABRW: Team Hollywood makes it two from two
The Botin 40 leads Airlie Beach Race Week IRC/ORC Division 1 after two days of racing Following an hour's delay in racing at ABRW today as officials waited for the breeze to fill in, Ray Roberts and his Team Hollywood added a further win to their Day 1 victory to take command of IRC/ORC Division 1 of the Whitsunday SC's 34th regatta.
Posted today at 9:03 am
Disko's tall tales of Sydney to Gold Coast Race
Jules Hall and his friend Jan Scholten won the Doublehanded Division in a J/99 Jules Hall and his friend Jan Scholten won the Doublehanded Division in the 384.0nm Noakes Sydney to Gold Coast Race, building their sailing CV evermore after winning the ROLEX Sydney to Hobart Race back in December 2021.
Posted today at 5:43 am
Olympian 'home' at Airlie Beach Race Week
Australian Olympian Mara Stransky is among the record numbers taking part Australian Olympian Mara Stransky is among the record numbers taking part in the Whitsunday Sailing Club's 34th Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), which started off Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Islands on Friday.
Posted today at 12:06 am
SSL Gold Cup - D6 - AUS v NED and ARG
Last day of training for the Australian's who completed their week of practice racing - video & pics Last day of training for the Australian's who completed their week of practice by racing against the Netherlands, and also Argentina. Video and stills.
Posted on 13 Aug
505 Worlds at Crosshaven, Ireland overall
Stuart Mcnay and Caleb Paine conclude with two more bullets The final day again dawned with no wind and again the wind filled in from the NE out to sea. Today the conditions were even better than yesterday with the wind filling in slightly stronger and holding for longer.
Posted on 13 Aug
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 arriving soon
This new addition is designed by Marc Lombard Middle Harbour Yacht Club was the perfect venue to view the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300, the Sun Odyssey 349 and the Sun Odyssey 410 in a relaxed atmosphere last week, and perfect weather was a bonus too!
Posted on 13 Aug
The most dangerous sector in a low pressure system
Sailors and their boats must be prepared to be able to withstand all kinds of storms Perhaps one of the worst circumstances that a sailboat can face on the high seas is to find itself immersed in a tropical cyclone.
Posted on 13 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week Day 2
Wind gods make call - racing abandoned On Day 2 of Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), competitors in the record fleet of 178 boats were initially held ashore, as organisers Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) monitored a very light and variable breeze
Posted on 13 Aug