January 20, 2020
The vessel has transported stranded community members and tourists in Mallacoota to relief centers.
The Australian bushfires have been affecting the Eastern coast of the New South Wales region. Our Sydney office is in the range of the current fires and a number of our colleagues have been part of the affected communities.
Our Teekay Family has persevered during this heartbreaking situation. Our thoughts are with our employees and their families, as well as those who are part of evacuation and firefighting efforts throughout the continent.
In light of the far-reaching devastation, people from across the continent – and the globe – have stepped up to aid in relief efforts for those living in affected communities and the surrounding wildlife.
Included in the aid efforts is the crew on board the MV Sycamore, a vessel operated by Teekay Australia in service of the Royal Australian Navy. The Sycamore is operated by 22 Teekay crew with a flight deck team and Medic supplied by Opstar overseen by one Royal Australian Navy Liaison Officer. The vessel is an integrated part of a multi-agency task group that are providing aid in the fire-affected areas of New South Wales.
Early on New Year’s Day, the Sycamore was dispatched to rescue a portion of the 4000 people stranded in the small town of Mallacoota in the East Gippsland region of Victoria. In this area, evacuation is only possible by sea and air as many road routes have been blocked for days and will likely continued to be blocked in the coming weeks.
In an interview with Lieutenant Ben Willee for the Navy Daily, the Ship’s Master, Captain Joe Ludik of Teekay said,
“It’s an honor to contribute to something so important. We were very happy to look after 58 passengers with lunch, dinner and breakfast.”
The Sycamore transported 58 passengers, two dogs, and one cat from Mallacoota to Western Port in Victoria.
The Sycamore is continuing her mission to support the bushfire relief efforts in New South Wales and Victoria. This includes the movement of equipment, personnel and helicopter support activities. We wish all crew and passengers aboard the Sycamore safe passage to evacuation zones.
For further reading, see the Navy Daily’s January 24th update.
Photos in the gallery below are courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy and were taken by LSIS Shane Cameron.