Burgess teamed up with TALISMAN MAITON to deliver aid to the Moken people, 273 of whom were left homeless when their homes burned down.
On 25 February 2019 members of the Burgess team along with international press boarded superyacht TALISMAN MAITON in Phuket armed with emergency supplies including water, food and first aid along with 100 goody bags for the children, bound for Au Bon Yai bay on the island of Surin in Thailand’s Andaman Sea.
Three weeks earlier the island, inhabited by the indigenous Moken people, had suffered a devastating fire. Although no lives were lost, 273 people were left homeless.
‘When we arrived, the army had already started to rebuild the 62 houses gutted by the fire and had made good progress. The island’s inhabitants had been living and sleeping in pop-up tents for the past few weeks,’ commented Nicci Perides, Head of Communications for Burgess. ‘We arrived with large containers of water, rice bags and other non-perishable goods plus first aid supplies. We also made fun goody bags for the children.’
One month on we are delighted to announce that all houses have been finished and everyone has moved back in. Suttinee Butpo (Noon) from Seal Superyachts Thailand accompanied the relief run and has been working closely with the authorities to monitor progress. She confirmed, ‘Every resident moved into their new homes at the end of March and their lives are returning to normal.’ Noon continued, ‘It’s not only important for superyachts to offer help, but everyone everywhere. We are all human beings and should help each other out. The effort Burgess and others made following the fire was really appreciated by the village and they are so happy with the goodies too.’
Captain Rob Smith of TALISMAN MAITON said, ‘The crew and I really enjoyed organising and being a part of the aid run. We all feel so passionate about the region and it was nice to give something back to the local people. One of our crew members went back following the relief run and noted the great progress the Thai authorities had made.’
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About the Moken
The Moken are indigenous to the Mergui Archipelago, a group of nearly 800 islands belonging to Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Also known as the Sea Gypsies, the semi-nomadic tribes would reside in the sea. However following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami they abandoned the tradition of living in stilt houses for island living. At the time, much media attention was paid to the islands inhabited by The Moken. It was rumoured that due to the tribe’s alignment with the ocean - they are well-known for their freediving capabilities - they sensed the tsunami and therefore managed to preserve many lives.