Colombian Navy Ship “ARC 7 de Agosto” Prepares to Set Sail to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Haiti
By Colombian Ministry of Defense October 09, 2016BOGOTA -By the order of the President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian Navy Ship, "ARC 7 de Agosto" was set to deploy to Haiti on October 8th to provide humanitarian aid to the people affected by hurricane Matthew.
President Santos instructed Colombian Minister of Defense Luis Carlos Villegas to order the deployment of the Colombian Navy ship to the Caribbean island-nation with a helicopter, rescue equipment, and humanitarian aid. The ship has been on alert due to the hurricane since October 5th. On the evening of October 7th, the ARC 7 de Agosto was being loaded in Cartagena with one desalinization water plant and 20 tons of humanitarian aid (water, medical kits, tarps, food, and other items) that were transported to Cartagena by the Colombian Air Force, Minister Villegas reported. The Minister also stated that, in addition to its crew of 56, the ship will bring with it eight doctors and a Colombian Navy Search and Rescue Unit with 21 highly trained personnel in urban rescue, flood and damage assessment, small construction, temporary shelters, and debris cleaning, and a helicopter crew of six. The country’s National Disaster Risk Management Unit coordinated the humanitarian aid supplies, which, once loaded on the ship together with the personnel, would be ready to deploy to Haiti. “Colombia sympathizes with the tragedy that Haiti is currently facing. President Santos ordered the deployment of this modern Navy ship to provide all the assistance we are able to provide for our brothers and sister of that country”, said the Minister of Defense. “Colombia and its Military Forces are now a leader in the region for security matters and emergency response, and, of course, we will provide our best assistance”. The ARC 7 de Agosto is a costal patrol ship for the economic exclusive zone. It was built in Colombia by the Science and Technology Corporation for the Naval Development Industry (COTECMAR), member of Colombia’s Defense Sector Social and Business Groups. This ship, which was christened in 2013, was designed to conduct coastal patrol operations, maritime traffic control, search and rescue, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, and environmental control. Colombian Navy Admiral Leonardo Santamaria Gaitan, commander of the Colombian Navy, said, “The personnel is highly trained and certified. Colombia's solidarity is with the Haitian people, and we will put all our human capacity and technology to assist the affected population by this natural disaster.” The ARC 7 de Agosto will sail 660 nautical miles to Haiti during 50 hours. The ship has the autonomy to remain in the island for one month.