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OceansWatch is Gifted the use of a Yacht

OceansWatch is Gifted the use of a Yacht

Alice Sowerby, sister of the late Tom Sowerby, has gifted the use of his Sweden Yacht 340, Magic Roundabout, to OceansWatch www.oceanswatch.org

Tom, who was only 23 when he died, loved the sea and the cruising life and was a skilled yachtsman and diver. His death in a free diving accident in Bora Bora last year was a shock to all who knew him.

Tom was en route to New Zealand where he planned to study and work for a year before continuing his circumnavigation.

Magic Roundabout was sailed on to New Zealand by Pacific Yacht Deliveries www.pacficyachtdeliveries.co.nz It was Tom’s love of the ocean and growing concern about the marine environment that led Alice to donate the long term use of his yacht to OceansWatch. Alice feels it appropriate to Tom’s memory that Magic Roundabout will now participate in OceansWatch’s marine conservation activities as well as its humanitarian projects with coastal communities in developing countries.

OceansWatch is developing a Yacht Management Programme in partnership with owners who would like their boats to be involved in environmental and humanitarian projects.

OceansWatch is a young, dynamic, not-for-profit Trust in its first year of operation with a worldwide membership made up of - medical doctors, dentists, engineers, marine biologists, divers, international development specialists, midwives, tourism operators, scientists and many others interested in making a difference to coastal communities and their associated marine environments.

By linking these island communities to those who are actively involved in marine research, education, humanitarian work and conservation OceansWatch is able to offer practical solutions to their problems.

Membership of OceansWatch offers the international yachting and diving communities an opportunity to actively participate in valuable marine conservation programmes and projects that are aimed at making a positive difference to the lives of island and coastal communities.

In this first year of operation, projects are being focused on Vanuatu, Tonga and PNG where OceansWatch will work on marine conservation and education projects in conjunction with organisations such as Reef Check www.reefcheck.org and Project MARC (Medical Assistance to Remote Communities), www.project-marc.org. Preliminary visits were made during 2007.

In Vanuatu OceansWatch will set up new Reef Check transects in an MPA (marine protected area) established by the local Chief and help the Fisheries Department mark established MPAs, as well as supporting current Reef Check programmes.

Robert Puis, the OceansWatch representative in Madang on the NE coast of PNG, has requested that OceansWatch assist his community on nearby Karkar Island, where raw sewerage from the local high school is discharged straight onto the reef.

OceansWatch will be responding to advice from the Red Cross and Robert as to what resources can best help the community.

OceansWatch members’ yachts will be distributing resources to local schools and items such as reading glasses under the guidance of the local Red Cross.

For more information and membership, please visit www.oceanswatch.org


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