YWAM Medical Ships Australia & PNG (YWAM MS) recently welcomed two custom-built patrol boats all the way from Norway to help support the delivery of healthcare and youth engagement programs in coastal communities.
The 8.5 metre-long boats, affectionately named Viking I and Viking II, are the same design as the boats used by the Norwegian Coast Guard. They are powered on jet propulsion and have capacity to transport teams of up to 18 people per boat with a substantial amount of medical equipment and supplies.
The boats were generously donated by a range of businesses and individuals in Norway.
YWAM Medical Ships Norway Manager, Mr Jarle Hofstad, said it was wonderful to see the boats arrive in Papua New Guinea.
“Many people in Norway have had their hearts captured by the need to engage the rural majority with healthcare and training.
“We are working in collaboration with YWAM Medical Ships – Australia & Papua New Guinea to strengthen healthcare delivery, provide capacity building opportunities for local health workers, and deliver youth engagement initiatives,” said Mr Hofstad.
The Norwegian Consul General for Papua New Guinea, Mr Ian Clough, said he was proud to welcome the boats to PNG from Norway.
“Norway is one of the world’s largest and most advanced shipping nations. The boats are high quality, robust, and expertly designed by some of the best in the industry – they are an excellent tool for safely deploying teams and supplies to remote, coastal communities.
“I’m also encouraged by the number of Norwegian healthcare professionals, mariners, and general volunteers who have served with YWAM Medical Ships in PNG over the years. It’s excellent to see the links between our nations strengthening,” said Mr Clough.
One of the boats is also fitted with hydrographic survey equipment, helping the teams safely navigate where charts are not available.
The boats are currently serving communities in the Hiri Koiari District in collaboration with the Hiri Koiari District Development Authority and the Central Provincial Health Authority. Over 30 volunteers from 10 nations are aboard for the outreach, including 6 from Norway, and 11 from PNG.
Photo caption above: L-R: Norwegian nurses, Kirsti Lein, Gunn Helen Voll & Jeanette Edland, YWAM Medical Ships Norway Managers, Jarle Hofstad & Bjarte Tonheim, Norwegian Consul General for PNG, Mr Ian Clough, YWAM Medical Ships Port Moresby Campus Manager, Matt Scott.