Dropping care packages for a crew in dire straights... DIYDrones style...

A few weeks ago I visited a ship that's been anchored in Table Bay with my Swift II FPV.

After reading up on the crew's plight, I thought it might lift their spirits if I fly out to them and drop a few care packages (peanuts & raisins / crisps & a message encouragement) with my Skywalker & APM. I invited some friends to the occasion and Glen was kind enough to document it. Hopefully it helps to show the overwhelmingly positive potential of drones.


update: Another drop on the E Whale:

Views: 2975

Comment by Morli on September 9, 2013 at 11:00am

For  first time , I have seen a decent usage of FPV. Well done. Keep up the  good work.:)

Comment by Josh Potter on September 9, 2013 at 11:03am

That's pretty cool and I think it showcases the future of using larger drones for re-supply/mail/cargo transport.   How many tries did it take to get a payload on the ship?

Also why can't the crewmen take a shore leave?  Is that a visa issue?

Comment by Jasja Dekker on September 9, 2013 at 11:23am

Click the link Josh, and you can read about the situation of the crew. 

Comment by Hein du Plessis on September 9, 2013 at 11:26am

Thanks Morli, I intend do do another drop next, week weather prediction is bleak - I need very still air as you can imagine.

Josh, I think the first drop might have missed - it's difficult to judge as I banked before the downward camera could capture the landing area. The other two have landed safely as far as I could see.

The ship is in arrest in the bay as the owner company has not settled their bill with the harbour on previous services to it's sister ship. The cew needs to stay on board for 4 months at a time in difficult conditions. Boredom and isolation taking it's toll.

The other 2 boats are also in arrest in various bays. The one is in Egypt, according to one article, and the crew is really in bad shape - rotten food and little water. If any Egyptian Diydroners are reading this... you can really make a difference..

Comment by Gary McCray on September 9, 2013 at 11:49am

Forcing a crew completely uninvolved in the dealings of the ships owners to remain and operate the ship under these conditions is completely without justification.

The crew has done nothing wrong or illegal and yet they are being made to operate unpaid in squalor in conditions that do not even exist in the prisons of the countries where they are detained.

This is government sanctioned and enforced slavery.

This isn't law or justice, it is insanity.

Comment by Josh Potter on September 9, 2013 at 11:55am

Jasja I read the article but it didn't go into details as to why the crew was actually stuck on the ship, or why they couldn't get shore leave.  Is it the case that they can't quit tomorrow and get a lift to the nearest airport to fly home?  Who is keeping them on the ship?

Comment by Hein du Plessis on September 9, 2013 at 12:02pm

I believe they are free to resign from their employer and will be free to go home one the next crew rotation, but they risk losing out on back pay which they desperately need for their families.

So, it's not the government forcing the crew, it's simply the company who can not afford abandoning the ship until it's sold to settle the debts.

My father in law used to have a stevedore business and he has seen many a company fold because of a large container ship not settling it's bill before leaving, so I understand completely the other side of the coin.

@Josh: As I understand, it's a skeleton crew and do not have the luxury of leaving. Most, if not all of them do not have visas.

Comment by Josh Potter on September 9, 2013 at 12:20pm

Ah OK; thanks for clearing that up.  That's an awful situation to be in and they really should give them some shore time.  Good luck with the next drop.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on September 9, 2013 at 12:54pm

Good effort and a fun video.

Is there some reason that nobody can deliver some larger supplies, by boat?

Maybe you could send them some magazines. ;)

Comment by Hein du Plessis on September 9, 2013 at 12:57pm

I guess a boat from SA will have to go through the proper customs channels etc, which I've not done. I always find myself border line legal with this hobby... sigh.


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