A 37 metre-long sailing vessel, the s/y Ruach, has been acquired by YWAM Ships Newcastle for deployment to Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The s/y Ruach arrived to PNG’s shores today where she will join YWAM Medical Ships efforts in reaching remote coastal and island communities.
A Swiss charity known as Jurgenheim Sternen AG gifted the s/y Ruach, a former sail training vessel, to YWAM after investing 16 Million PGK into a refit back in 2010.
The s/y Ruach arrived in Australia for the first time in January after her 14,000 nautical mile voyage from the Netherlands to Australia.
YWAM Ships Newcastle Managing Director, Mr David Stephenson, said the operations of the vessel will be a collaborative effort between national and provincial health and maritime authorities, and a range of volunteers from around the world.
“We are really in a stage of exploring how the s/y Ruach can best serve the nation. We have been meeting with various stakeholders to discuss possible locations and health and training activities for the s/y Ruach and our volunteers.
“We look forward to welcoming many of these leaders aboard over the coming weeks to map out the vessel’s first deployment,” said Mr Stephenson.
PNG Patron for YWAM Medical Ships, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, said it was great to see YWAM Ships’ work expanding in PNG.
“There are currently 291 inhabited islands throughout PNG. The s/y Ruach is best suited for serving some of these islands that have limited access to healthcare and training. “The Ruach’s deployment is a great step toward helping to overcome some of the isolation challenges in our island communities,” said Sir Rabbie.
The s/y Ruach is currently docked in Alotau, the gateway to some of the most remote islands in the world. YWAM Medical Ships’ catamaran, MV YWAM PNG, will started her next 7-month deployment on Saturday, starting with a two-week patrol in Oro Province.