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Mar-21-2012 14:41printcomments

Volunteer-Built Rescue Vessel Ready to Launch for South China Seas

The group is taking action to save lives after coastal disasters.

welding IRG rescue vessel
Preparation of T2 took nearly a year.Photo: IRG

(ALAMEDA, CA) - The rescue boat “T2” that will provide first-line support and humanitarian aid to disaster-hit people is ready to hit the open seas. The boat is the first of a group that will deliver food, fresh water and medical supplies to help coastal communities until governmental or large-scale relief arrives.

International Rescue Group is a 501(c) (3) California Public Benefit Corporation. Over a year ago, IRG acquired an empty steel hull and after an immense amount of volunteer effort and help through donations, they have fitted out a rescue vessel to be launched at Nelson’s Marine in Alameda, California.

Jeff Weissman, now & then

“We have attracted a number of dedicated volunteers who have worked year-round to prepare the rescue boat “T2” for launch, and despite many difficulties, belief in our mission has kept everyone motivated," said Executive Director Ray Thackeray.

"On Saturday March 31st 2012 we will launch the vessel, commence shake-down and complete machinery installation so that we can go operational and provide post-disaster aid to coastal communities up to 1,000 survivors at a time.”

“Everyone is anxious to get the ship into a place where she can do some good,” said Tim Webber, Director, who previously worked for Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

“This particular boat is intended to provide water, food and medical supplies to victims in the South China Seas, but we expect to construct more ships and place them around the world.”

International Rescue Group is holding a "Launch Fundraiser Event" at the Pasta Pelican, Alameda Estuary, the evening of March 31st, to commence raising $250,000 in operational funds.

The event is hosted by Jeffrey Weissman who co-starred in “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox.

The Launch Fundraiser will include two bands, dinner, dancing and tours of “T2”. The public and interested parties are invited to attend.

Tickets can be obtained from www.internationalrescuegroup.org.




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G 2/3; March 24, 2012 5:48 pm (Pacific time)

You're welcome.


Ray Thackeray March 23, 2012 5:07 pm (Pacific time)

@G 2/3: Thank you for your comment; I am Exec Director of International Rescue Group. We are in the San Francisco area so it isn't easy for this particular vessel to transit to the Gulf of Mexico; but we will be transiting the Mexican Pacific Coast and of course should a disaster occur during that time, we will be able to respond. This particular boat is slated for the South China Seas, but we plan many more vessels, and are also setting up a global network to recruit as many of the approx. 10,000 cruising boats globally as volunteer boats. I am not aware of the organization you cited, but the advice to research the NGO you are contributing to is always recommended. May I take this opportunity to invite you to meet our Board of Directors and volunteers who are working on this vessel every day, we are on Alameda Point, near San Francisco, and open to inspection any time 24x7.


G 2/3; March 22, 2012 12:26 pm (Pacific time)

I'd be inclined to sail it on to the Gulf of Mexico and assist those affected in our own country, and I've seen it used as a way to receive funding. "Operation Rescue" from years past comes to mind. His idea was very similar and accounting for donations and grants received was miniumum disclosure,maximum promotion to help the then migration of boat people from S.E.Asia. The ship sunk in the harbor and had to be pushed of into a mud bank to keep from losing it completely. So think carefully before donating. Some research would be highly recommended.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.