Half of that amount came from the dollar added to shipboard accounts for P&O Pacific Partnership, a joint venture with Save the Children which raises funds to improve health services and education in Pacific Island nations. That amount was matched with another A$25,000 from the company.
Ships alerted to fires
Smoke-filled red skies off the east coast of Australia have alerted passengers and crew of ships sailing by to the extent of the fires.
‘Everyone’s heart was heavy on board Pacific Explorer as we made our way through dense smoke, entertainment director Zoltina-J Medwik-Daley said. ‘We all thought, if the smoke is affecting us off the coast in this way, how on earth could our fellow Aussies be coping at ground zero.
Fog horn blared all day
‘Our thoughts and prayers were with people who were losing their homes,’ Medwik-Daley said. The ship’s fog horn was sounding all day as we cruised through the plumes of smoke.
‘It was eerie. Never in my 20 years at sea have I experienced anything like this.’
Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW), said the $50,000 donation from P&O Cruises Australia and its passengers will help provide immediate necessities like food, clothing and financial assistance for families who have been forced to leave their homes.
‘Importantly, it will also help them rebuild and recover once the horrors of the bushfire season are over,’ de Groot said.
‘We will be keeping the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal open for the foreseeable future. With so many bushfires burning, we fear the worst may yet to come.'