News feed: Global Sikhs—Waves of Mercy
Two Team Members Injured in Small Explosion, Evacuated to German Warship for Treatment—Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy mission proceeding smoothly
Kuala Lumpur: Two members of the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY were injured in an explosion while clearing a coastal road in the village of Paros, about 20 nautical miles from Banda Aceh at 6.30 pm, Jan 22 (Saturday).
Five hours later, at 11.30pm, a helicopter from a German naval vessel Berlin evacuated both injured volunteers. On the ship, both men were given immediate medical attention and are now recovering.
The injured, Captain Marius J W Bogaard, 48, and Johannes A van Leewen, 51, suffered mainly first degree burns. Both are Dutch.
“The incident has not deterred them. Both will spend the next few days on Berlin to recover. Then, they plan to go back to their relief work,” says Captain Hugo Crawford, director of GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY. Capt Crawford has been instrumental in getting the vessels for the mission.
Capt Marius is the captain of the Sean Paquitto II, the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY vessel that had been involved in the Aceh relief mission since the team first set sail for Aceh on Jan 7. Crew member Johannes had also been on the yacht since Jan 7.
Paros, facing the Indian Ocean, is 28 km from Banda Aceh. This is the village found by the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY search and relief team on board Sean Paquitto II on Jan 14. Until then, the villages had lost all contact with the outside world since the Dec 26 undersea earthquake and the subsequent tsunami.
Yesterday’s helicopter evacuation was the second on the island since the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY team arrived there. The first evacuation happened last week when a helicopter form the USS Abraham Lincoln evacuated a pregnant women to Banda Aceh who needed immediate medical attention.
“They were clearing a coastal road. When they wanted to light up the dead branches, the explosion occurred,” says Amir Mohamed Oziar, GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY spokesman at Paros, in a call to the mission command centre in Kuala Lumpur.
During the incident, only three team members were in the village. The rest were already back on board Sean Paquitto, where they retire for the night.
The command centre is located at Sabha House, the headquarters of the Malaysian Sikh Youth, also known as the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia. It runs a 24-hours operations manned by volunteers. Another control centre is located at Langkawi, run by the expat sailors who power the WAVES OF MERCY.
Amir, a psychologist, is one of the 19 members of the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY’s second mission to Aceh. The second mission is led by Major (Red) Bangkong Salleh, a Sarawakian who had formerly served as a United Nations military observer at Timor Leste between 1999-2000.
All but four members of the first mission, led by chief de mission Mr Malkith Singh, returned to Kuala Lumpur today on a TUDM flight from Banda Aceh to Subang.
PAROS – TODAY
Today (Jan 23), the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY medical team is back in the village to attend to villagers in need of medical attention. They have been kept busy, working a minimum of 12-hours a day.
The logistics team, meanwhile, is pitching the tent to enable the mission to distribute food to the villagers.
Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy: Background
WHO WE ARE
GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY is the name coined for the international relief effort to help the earthquake and Tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia. It is an informal grouping of Sikh and non-Sikh organisations worldwide that want to assist in the relief mission. While the mission platform carries the name Sikh, it is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. We have, both on the mission and at the headquarters level, volunteers from various races, religions and nationalities.
The mission is spearheaded by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (Malaysian Sikh Youth), a Malaysian-based 41-year old youth organisation. This is a registered NGO in Malaysia and has performed various community projects in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. Website: www.snsm.org.my
Its key operational partner is the WAVES OF MERCY, a group of Langkawi-based sailors who have rallied together to make the ships available to carry forward the mission. It is led by Captain Hugo Crawford. Some of the sailors have lost their boats in the tsunami incident. Website: www.wavesofmercy.com
Its main international partner is the UNITED SIKHS, an international NGO with chapters in Europe, America and Asia. It has sent five of its members to Kuala Lumpur for the relief work in Aceh. In separate missions, UNITED SIKHS have also sent their members to Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Website: www.unitedsikhs.org
Our mission is to assist in the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner as possible. Funds raised and assistance rendered will go towards achieving the objective.
24-HOUR COMMAND CENTRE
GLOBAL SIKHS operates a round-the-clock control and command centre n Kuala Lumpur. Tel: ++ 603 - 2283 3713
||Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia - Tsunami Relief
||Bangsar Baru Branch
||66, 68 & 70, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru, 59000 Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.