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Company leads the way in providing vital supplies to Haiti

PUBLISHED: 07:39 07 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:40 07 July 2010

Just over two weeks after Haiti was decimated by an earthquake a firm from near Dereham is leading the way sending out vital supplies and equipment needed for the next stage of recovery.

Just over two weeks after Haiti was decimated by an earthquake a firm from near Dereham is leading the way sending out vital supplies and equipment needed for the next stage of recovery.

A Shipdham couple have been involved in the international aid effort chartering boats carrying vital supplies to the disaster struck nation.

Now Andy Thorne and Nicki Gilbert, 39, who run Caribbean shipping specialists Kestrel Liner Agencies, are among the first to ship in rubble removing equipment and housing materials to start rebuilding the country.

The first of these, the 235ft MV Carib Star, departed from Florida's Fort Pierce port on January 25 carrying supplies from charity the Samaritans Purse, and should now be on its way back to Haiti after picking up more supplies.

Andy Thorne, president of Kestrel, said: “We watched in disbelief the unbelievable suffering unfolding in Haiti. As recognized market experts in providing logistical solutions to the Caribbean islands we were keen to help in any way.

“Knowing we now have a tried and tested operation getting straight into a Haitian Port will now help us get these urgently needed support supplies into Haiti even more quickly.”

In total the couple expect to charter around a dozen boats, using their expertise and knowledge of the area to negotiate a cheaper deal for aid organisations, and subsidising some of the trips themselves.

The earthquake, which struck on January 12, has claimed at least 150,000 lives. This is not the first time the couple, who run a farm in Shipdham, have got involved in supplying aid in the aftermath of a disaster. They ran similar operations following hurricanes in the Caymen Islands and the Bahamas.


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