April 15, 2016: In a move to assist Greek rescue teams working to search for refugees and migrants crossing the Aegean Sea, Air New Zealand Cargo has helped move a lifeboat and engine from New Zealand to Greece.
The rigid inflatable lifeboat and its engine weighing some 240 kgs was donated by the Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving patrol based in Henderson, New Zealand and has been donated to Lifeguard Hellas who will use it for both patrols and emergency call-outs.
Co-ordinated by London Operations Supervisor at Air New Zealand Cargo, Nadeem Butt, the lifeboat was first flown from Auckland to London on the airline’s B777-300 service. On arrival it was transferred to dnata City at London Heathrow he handed over to John Kwijuka from Van Swieten Air Cargo, a specialist part of DHL Global Forwarding who was responsible for overseeing the final journey to the island of Lesbos.
Bethells Beach lifeguards team leader, Adrian Jenkins has organized a charity fundraising page with the aim of raising further funds for the New Zealand life guard team to be able to assist their counterparts in Greece and has already raised more than NZ$10,0000.
Adds Jenkins, “We have over 80 years of patrolling and experience among our team based at Henderson on New Zealand’s west coast, so by joining the lifeguard team in Greece amd doing our part to stop as many people from drowning as possible, this we a challenge we just couldn’t ignore”.
“From the Bethells team in New Zealand being moved to help the plight of the refugees through to the delivery of the lifeboat in Lesbos it took just ten days and we are delighted to have played our part in its safe delivery and it was a privilege to help in this worthy cause”, states Air New Zealand Cargo’s Nadeem Butt.
Concludes John Kwijuka, “Ensuring the lifeboat got to its destination as quickly as possible, securely and easily as the basis of supporting this life-saving cause”.