Published On: Wed, Oct 4th, 2017

Fairtransport sails relief for animals to St. Maarten


DEN HELDER – In the port of Den Helder 20 tons of relief goods is ready for St. Maarten; not for people, but for animals, Natasja Gibbs reports on Caribisch Netwerk. “Animals are often forgotten during a disaster, while they are also victims,” says Saskia Poelman of shipping company Fairtransport.

“Our shipping company stands for making the world a better place. When we saw that St. Maarten needed help we did not hesitate for a moment and offered cargo space,” Poelman says. The Open Scape Foundation collected 20 tons of goods for animals during the past couple of weeks. Our motorless sailing boat Tres Hombrwes will take it to St. Maarten.”

Many pets did not survive Hurricane Irma in St. Maarten. The stench of rotting cadavers of dead animals was overwhelming in some places. Many animals became homeless, just like their owners. “The emergency aid is for those animals and their owners.”

The cargo hold of the sailing boat – built in 1943 – is stuffed with food for cattle and pets. But there are also kennels, baskets and other necessities for animals.

The trip to St. Maarten is not without risk, because the 9-strong crew depends on the weather and its own strength. “Fortunately it is not the first time that we are crossing the Atlantic,” Poelman says.

“We sail on a regular basis to the Caribbean especially when help is needed. When Haiti was hit by an earthquake we also sailed to that country with relief goods.

The Tres Hombres will need a month to cross the Atlantic.

Photo above caption: The Tres Hombres crew loads animal relief goods onto the sailing boat. Photo Caribisch Netwerk / Fairtransport