View Full Version : Australian fishos can help tsunami victims

16-01-2005, 06:51 AM
This morning on 4BC’s Talking Fishing Show Gary Fooks and I started a collection with a difference for fisherman in Sri-Lanka.

Over 75% of those affected by the tsunami in Sri Lanka relied on fishing for either a living or their daily food.
Many charity organisations are working to clean up the country and repair the damage but these people want to get back to doing what they know best – providing for their families by fishing.

There is a major shortage of the basics – hooks, fishing line and nets - they don't need rod and reels.
We have arranged space on a container aboard a Mercy Ship that leaves for Sri-Lanka in one week.
It has all been coordinated through the Peter Chanel Parish in The Gap and the Catholic Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Some items will arrive in the Jaffna Peninsula in Sri Lanka and will be handled by Humedica International, a Norwegian relief organisation and the rest will be distribed in the south by the Catholic Church.

The main species caught include mackerel (called seer fish), trevally (paraw) and barramundi (koduwa) are very common.
They also catch many species of tuna, barracuda and sharks.

Here’s how you can help: Collect boxes of hooks (preferably 1/0 + sizes), fishing line and hand reels (preferably 20kg plus line) and any form of net – cast nets, drag nets or commercial nets.
Please, it is important that they get items they can use – they are unable to do repairs to nets at this stage so they must be in usable condition.

As well as donating spools of rope, Peter Ruhle from BIAS Boating Warehouse has volunteered his two stores as drop off points – 1029 Many Road Tingalpa and the Corner of Kingston and Compton Roads at Slack Creek.
If you would like to help but don’t have a cast or drag net to spare, Nigel from Gateway Bait and Tackle has arranged to purchase large cast nets direct from the manufacturer and sell them to you at his cost price - $45 each (for donation only at this price).
Gateway Bait and Tackle is located on the Bribie end of the Ningi township on the way to Bribie Island.
Nigel is also a drop off point so you can leave items there or purchase a net off him and leave it in the collection bin.

I’ve suggested those donating fishing items wrap them up and write FISHING GEAR and a message on the wrapping – “Tight lines mate – from Australia”, “Good luck, us Aussies are thinking of you”.
Put a picture of you with a fish in the package if you like – these are real people like you and me that would appreciate knowing we care.

Dave ><>

16-01-2005, 07:28 AM
Excellent work Dave ;)
My old gear will be down to Gateway this week

16-01-2005, 10:47 AM
Mercy ships already have a collection of my old line, hooks and stuff..... and a cast net that I never learned how to throw :(

This sounds like a practical way to help as far as I am concerned.

Lets see what is hiding in our garages and sheds!

16-01-2005, 11:06 AM
What is the exact cut off day for delivery?

I may be able to do a run from the Sunny Coast to Brisvagas if anyone has gear they want taken down.

I think I can probably round up a few more bits and pieces.

PS if you are buying back to school stuff from Officeworks they have some exercise books for 1c, 7c & 13c each, max limit 20 of each size per customer If you want to buy some of these to put in as well for the kids schools you can get a good sized pile for a few dollars.

16-01-2005, 11:07 AM
great work dave,
have got a bit of gear i will drop off to gateway.

16-01-2005, 11:42 AM
Cutoff: I think they are shipping 2 containers a week for the next 2 weeks

Its got to go from our collection points to The Gap to Caloundra to the Ship.

So I think the cutoff has to be really soon - like Monday or Wednesday - as volunteers are doing all the loading it takes a long time. ( not enough volunteers)

The best you can do is help the Guys by labelling and packaging everything well. And send a note and maybe a photo - that can do more to help someone get over such a destructive event than we can imagine.

Make sure its dry - or else it will wreck other stuff in the container on the trip.

call me at any hour - day or night 0412 111 573 if I can help

16-01-2005, 12:44 PM
Gary has done most of the checking, organising and making of arrangements - as he said, you need to act as quick as possible to catch the transport arranged.
There are several shipments over the next two weeks but speed is very important.

It is also important that the items you donate are good - space is very limited so we want to make sure only useable items take up the availabe room.

Thanks Dug and others that took up the original request last week from Graham Foley - we have just picked up the ball and are running with it.

Dave ><>

Derek Bullock
16-01-2005, 01:01 PM
Just got home from a drive to Gateway Bait and Tackle. The cast nets aren't in yet (on order). Left a bunch of dollars with them as my contribution to making sure some cast nets and handlines end up in the right place.

Great opportunity this guys. Lets all get behind it.

Even a few boxes of hooks or a spool of line will go a long way to help out over there.



16-01-2005, 02:20 PM
Thanks Derek - much appreciated.
We sprung this on Nigel from Gateway Bait and Tackle very early so he hasn't had time to get the nets in as yet.
I think they will arrive on Monday.
Rest assured me or Gary Fooks will personaly make sure they are accounted for and delivered.

I'm picking up a heap of Australian flag stickers - every pacel I get my hands on will get the stickers plastered all over it so they know where the help is coming from.
Remember that the BIAS Boating stores are also drop off points - the State manager Peter Ruhle offered the two stores they have in Brisbane - 1029 Manly Road Tingalpa and at Slack Creek on the corner of Compton and Kingston Roads - as a drop off point.
They don't sell fishing gear but have offered spools of rope which will also come in handy.

Dave ><>

16-01-2005, 02:31 PM
dave am i able to drop spools of line and hook packages down at the saint peter chanel parish in The Gap and if yes who would i hand it to at the parish. st peter chanel is just down the road.

cheers phil

16-01-2005, 02:50 PM
If you find The Gap is handier then:

Bob Dobbs c/-
Peter Chanel Church
Chaprowe Road
The Gap.

seems like they suggest 9am - 3pm is best.

IF you get stuck - then Bob's home address is 12 Hilder Rd The Gap.


16-01-2005, 02:59 PM
thanks for that will see what i can do about taking some stuff down there i live about 300m from the church

17-01-2005, 06:53 AM

If you are only 300m away - can you be our local “agent”?

All you need to do is drop in say hi and maybe educate them on fishing gear if they get confused?

Could I ask for your phone number - only for use if it was urgent and I couldn’t get there...?

mine is 0412 111 573


17-01-2005, 12:55 PM
sure thing ill head down tommorow and say g'day to bob . going to sort through my gear see what i can drop off for them.


18-01-2005, 08:32 AM
Dave, Coast Guard Brisbane is having another MROCVP and MROCP course on Feb 6th. I will be recommending as co-ordinator, that the general meeting approve contributing profits from the course to this appeal. Is there any thing else that is needed? Do we know what cost is involved to build a new village fishing boat in Sri Lanka?

18-01-2005, 09:28 AM
Nice Idea

Usually there are two opposite "problems" with donations and helping others

If you send goods #- well they get there but its cheaper to buy stuff overseas. # But if you send $ #some goes in admin costs #etc. # In our case Mercy Ships is covering the overheads of shipping etc.

We also have to be sure they can use what we send. # I will try to chase this boat idea #up. # Its a great idea.

Some one also suggested we "adopt" #a fishing village for a year or two. # I like that idea and Dave and I are looking into it #- but no announcements until it is checked out and going to work out.

In the mean time some photos taken at a better time.


18-01-2005, 09:44 AM
this is what they lost but can easily replace

18-01-2005, 10:13 AM
fishing canoe

18-01-2005, 03:33 PM
I love the adopt a village idea. I have no idea how it would work but I'm sure we could do something.

18-01-2005, 05:35 PM
Bob is one of the real workers behind this project.

He has asked me to post this " In Full"

" MY HEARTFELT THANKS to Dave Downie and to Gary Fooks, and to all you good folk who are heeding their call, to help the tsunami victims in Sri Lanka with fishing gear. Yes, 75% of those affected by the tsunami in Sri Lanka are fisherfolk ... simple, humble, beautiful people.

I have fished with them and have lived with them in their huts, which are now no more. We need to help them to get back on their feet.

Someone on your chat programme has suggested 'adopting a fishing village', and someone else has suggested building /donating a boat.

I hail from Sri Lanka and have been in this lucky country Australia for the last 18 years. I still have good contacts in Sri Lanka, and can organise both ideas through Dave and Gary if you wish.

In the meantime, donations of fishing gear will be most welcome ... hand line and fish hooks for deep sea fishing, nets (all sorts), sinkers and floaters, tents and tarps (an URGENT call has come in for these last two), cooking utencils.

The collection points are as informed you by Dave and Gary. If in the vicinity of The Gap, please drop off at the Peter Chanel Church, Chaprowe Rd., The Gap, between the hours of 9.00am - 3.00pm. If these times don't suit you ... please drop off at 12 Hilder Rd., The Gap ... anytime. PLEASE ... label each package 'FISHING GEAR, c/o Bob Dobbs'.

This will enable me to pack them separately. 2 x 40 ft containers of 'general emergency goods' have already been shipped. I have been promised space in 2 more containers over the next 2 weeks. The 'cut-off' date I have been given is Saturday, 29 January 2005.

After that ... I have no way of shipping. In other words ... everything needs to reach me by this date, as we pack on the Sunday morning. Once again ... THANK YOU so much for your assistance ... and for CARING. Bob Dobbs "

The collection Points of BIAS and Gateway are still active Bob was not aware of these 3


25-01-2005, 11:35 AM
5 nets and 16 hand lines left

“Talking Fishing” on 4BC and Peter Channel Church The Gap have been working on this for 2 weeks now - a program to get fishing gear to wiped out fishermen in Sri Lanka. I personally have checked it all out and it is all sound.

We have been receiving suitable donated fishing gear - nets and deep sea handlines and packing them in a container for Sri Lanka. They don’t use rods and reels.

As well as donated gear - some people have been buying a net or a hand line to help out the fisher folk in Sri Lanka.

This is a great way to help. They get fed for years this way - not just a meal you are buying them a job

And every cent goes directly to them (A charity called Mercy ships arranged the freight and volunteers do the packing etc)

You can even have a message written on your reel or net.

Nigel has just 5 nets at $45 and 16 Hand lines at $10 each left. This is at cost - the manufacturer even sent them up freight free.

Call Nigel at Gateway Bait and tackle on Phone: 07-5497-5253 Fax: 07-5497-7407
He will take credit cards on the phone - and pay the credit card fee himself.
They get collected for shipping on Friday Morning - so time is running out and it would be a real shame to have to send these back

Come on - lets send em off to the poor b’s in Sri Lanka. Just $10 about 1 lure gets a guy a job and a chance to feed his family. You cant beat that for Value.

I have photos of the people and the container in Brisbane being loaded if you would like to see them

Gary Fooks
0412 111 573

25-01-2005, 11:42 AM
Amid the ruin and sorrow on Sri Lanka, the reservoir of kindness remains
by Laura Dunham

Omen shrieking and what sounded like the roar of a freight train awakened me. I jumped out of bed and ran to the balcony door of our second-floor guest room to see water - filled with wood and cars and pieces of twisted metal - swirling below us. Damika, the owner of the inn, and some of his family had run up the stairs to our balcony. I looked over their shoulders at the rising waves and went cold with fear.

I shouted to Kate, my friend and travel partner, who was getting ready to go to the beach, to grab her money belt, and then rushed back to watch the sea escalate to the bottom of our balcony in an agonizingly prolonged 20 seconds.

It was 9:25 a. m. on Dec. 26 and we were in Unawatuna, a beach town in southern Sri Lanka. A few minutes earlier, it had been clear and calm. Kate’s decision to take her morning walk on the beach a half-hour later than usual was one of many fateful choices that we had made or that had been made for us. Ultimately, Damika’s decision to give us a room on the second floor instead of the ground floor was what saved us.

Many days later, we would learn that the series of tsunamis unleashed by an underwater earthquake off the shore of Sumatra had taken the lives of more than 150,000, including more than`A0 30,000 in Sri Lanka. But on the morning of Dec. 26, there was no explanation for the relentlessly rising sea.

Eventually it slowed, then stopped, and there was silence. Almost instantly, it was replaced by screams. Everywhere I looked, people were scrambling onto any high surface they could find`A0 rooftops or balconies.

Paul, an Englishman who was sleeping in the room below us, swam out of his room. We hauled him onto the balcony. A young Sri Lankan woman splashed up to the stairs shouting: "My grandmother. I let go of her hand." Damika was banging his chest and sobbing, "My father, my brother, my uncle..." A British teenager, who was in shock, and screaming "My mum, my dad, my sister, my 8-week-old brother!" was dragged over the railing. He had lacerations all over his body, and his clothes were torn and muddy. We tried to console him, but each second brought new screams of terror.

Now I realize that the strange calm I felt at the time was shock. The scene outside had become increasingly more terrifying, more surreal. The water was slowly receding, but now buildings were starting to collapse around us, and the noise brought fresh waves of panic. Half of Damika’s house, right in front of our balcony, came crashing down. Would our building be next? The mantra I repeated to myself would continue for the next four days: "I want to go home. I want to see my family. I don’t want to die."

Below us, the water was teeming with all the objects that once held so much importance: televisions, furniture, cars, shoes. Life was the only thing that mattered now, and people were screaming out for the ones who had lost it. Suddenly, the sister and mother of the British boy appeared on the balcony of the guesthouse next door. They were overjoyed to see each other alive, but their father and baby brother, it seemed, were still missing. At that moment, the father shouted from the ground floor of our guesthouse. He was holding the limp baby in his arms. I yelled down, "Give the baby CPR! Give the baby CPR!" but neither he nor his wife was able to do anything other than stroke the motionless bundle.

I furiously tried to remember the infant C. P. R. lesson I had been given by my friend shortly before I left. Three fingers and cover the mouth and nose to give mouth-to-mouth were all I could remember. But it was too late. Quietly, the mother took her baby up to the balcony and cradled him to her breast. I walked back upstairs to our room and threw my soggy money belt on the bed.

Shouts in Sinhalese from the neighbors across the way brought us to our feet, and to the balcony door again. Someone had seen another wave coming. That was it. "We’re going to die here," I told Kate. I thought of my mother’s having the same look as those around us - inconsolable sorrow.

There was nothing we could do but wait. After an interminable hour of intensely watching the receding water, we saw dry patches of ground. Kate and I decided to leave. We packed a small backpack for survival: bottled water, flashlight, water purification tablets, extra socks. My other belongings were left behind. We plowed through the thigh-deep, debris-filled water toward an undamaged hotel on the hill. The journey took no more than 15 minutes, but each second brought jolts of fear that another surge of water was about to strike. The hotel was filled with people in varying states of shock and despair.

Everyone had stories, stories that on their own would be chilling almost beyond belief. Together, they created a portrait of sorrow in surreal proportions. We wanted to be higher still, and, with the help of a local man, Raja, struggled up the cliff behind the hotel. Raja told us that the entire bay had emptied of water; the sea had withdrawn and was no longer visible. Halfway up, we heard shouts from below and then the dreaded sound that I still listen for. It was the sound of the ocean as it pelted its entire being, once again, onto the battered shore, traveling farther inland as there was less resistance from the fallen buildings. We ran, stumbling, over logs and up embankments, through the jungle, helping the injured and shocked, to get to higher ground. At the top, we turned and watched the sea enfold the once sleepy tourist-filled village. Only the palm trees were visible. The village at the top had not been physically affected by the water, but grief was everywhere. People, dressed only in tattered bathing suits or wet pajamas, were dazedly walking around asking if others had seen their wife, daughter, husband, aunt. How could any of us get through the next minutes, hours, days or years?

Together. That is how. We survived the trauma of this disaster because we had the generosity and hospitality of the Sri Lankans. Every family in the village took in tourists for the three days we had to wait before we were evacuated. They shared their meager belongings, their limited food and their precious water. They, who had nothing and had lost much, gave everything.

Forty of us slept on mats outside the home of a family who came around at regular intervals with sugary tea, bananas and coconuts. They cooked us dinner for two nights. They let us drink water out of their well. They slept beside us to protect us from possible looters. Only one person spoke English, a man named Siri, who had owned a bar and restaurant on the beach. He had lost his business, his home and a nephew, yet he never stopped looking out for us.

We gave all our extra money, water purification tablets, clothing, antibiotics, malarial medication and shoes to Siri and his family, and also to Damika when we saw him on the day of our evacuation. By then, Damika had already buried three members of his family. He now stood in the only clothes he had, waiting with us for an hour until our bus arrived to take us away, to safety.

Since I will not return to my job as a teacher at Valley Stream South High School on Long Island until September, I plan to drive around the United States, visit schools and do presentations on my experience, which revealed the generosity of a people who live in a country that many Americans cannot even find on a map.

This article was published on January 16, 2005 Thomas White/Reuters, Tourists in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka, two days after the tsunami struck.

26-01-2005, 05:40 AM
Just purchased two handlines this morning. I haven't given to a charity as yet as I'm not overly convinced that the funds get to the right people.
Sending product over is a great idea!

26-01-2005, 03:28 PM
latest count

3 nets and 9 handlines left

26-01-2005, 07:30 PM
Hey Guys,
I'm in Nth Qld and would love to donate some product. Any way can purchase from metro store to go on delivery.

27-01-2005, 02:56 AM
Coral Critter

Its somewhere in these posts .that they are all being picked up Friday morning. It’s too late to post from NQ The items can still be left at Bias Boating in Brisbane (closed today) so Thursday is the last day

Or at Gateway Bait and Tackle Ningi - who are also selling gear at cost.

Nigel has just some nets left at $45 and a few Hand lines at $10 each left. This is at cost - the manufacturer even sent them up freight free.

Call Nigel at Gateway Bait and Tackle on Phone: 07-5497-5253 Fax: 07-5497-7407
He will take credit cards on the phone - and pay the credit card fee himself.
They get collected for shipping on Friday Morning - so time is running out and it would be a real shame to have to send these back

Come on - let’s send em off to the poor b’s in Sri Lanka. Just $10 about 1 lure gets a guy a job and a chance to feed his family. You can’t beat that for Value.

27-01-2005, 06:46 AM
Thanks Gary,

Will call Nigil Thursday a.m.

27-01-2005, 07:29 AM
Nigel is open today only BIAS is closed