The last of the air ambulance flights from Port Vila has touched down in Brisbane. All 10 Pacific Dawn guests seriously injured on Monday afternoon have now been successfully evacuated to hospitals in Noumea and Brisbane.
OUR emergency response centre is regularly used for exercises but it is the room we hope we never have to use for the real thing.
However for 24 hours this week the ERC was a hub of activity organising the air ambulance airlift of our 10 Pacific Dawn passengers from Port Vila who sustained serious injuries in Monday's bus collision.
The last of the 10 passengers were airlifted from Port Vila yesterday to join others receiving specialist hospital care in Brisbane.
As you know, we were particularly worried about the 11 year old boy who was taken to Noumea in the first airlift for treatment for a serious head injury.
The youngster is with his Mum and brother in Noumea and we are hearing encouraging news about his progress. A P&O Care member is with the family in Noumea and P&O’s President Sture Myrmell visited them earlier this week.
This is a wrap up of Tuesday’s ERC events as summarised on our Facebook site.
Over the past 24 hours, P&O Cruises has coordinated the airlift of 10 Pacific Dawn guests who sustained significant injuries in the collision of two buses in Port Vila yesterday afternoon. All 10 have already been transferred to hospitals in Noumea or Brisbane.
We today expressed condolences to the family of two Ni Van people who were on the local commuter bus and who sadly passed away following the accident. Today we have also focussed on the airlift of Pacific Dawn guests and kept in close contact with their families.
Pacific Dawn departed from Port Vila this afternoon but only after we were certain that the medical airlift was well advanced. The ship set sail for Isle of Pines for tomorrow's scheduled call. We thank our Pacific Dawn guests for their patience and understanding during the emergency response to yesterday's accent.
Here you can follow the updates during the course of the day in the following updates that we posted on the P&O Cruises Facebook page.
8:53am Good morning -- a further update on Port Vila. Three air ambulances have departed Brisbane for Port Vila and are due to arrive there mid-morning for the next series of medical evacuations. Be assured, in order to maintain close contact with families we have this morning again made direct contact with the emergency contact provided for each of the 12 Pacific Dawn passengers injured in yesterday's road accident. We will continue to provide regular direct updates to them during the day. We also have P&O care staff monitoring private messages on Facebook to answer inquiries.
9:30am Good morning, just to again update on the Port Vila incident. As you would expect, the Vanuatu Government is taking yesterday's collision in Port Vila very seriously and has issued this statement this morning: The Minister of Public Utilities Hon. Jotham Napat has said Vanuatu Police will fully investigate the tragic accident that involved local Ni-Vanuatu and visitors yesterday in Port Vila. "The Vanuatu government is committed to ensuring safety on our roads. We recently announced plans to strengthen our road rules to meet tougher international standards," the minister said. All drivers in Vanuatu must have driver's licenses and all vehicles must pass roadworthy inspections prior to annual registrations being renewed.
Minister Napat said the Salwai government had been working with the tourism industry and the Vanuatu Land Transport Association since coming to power in order to improve traffic conditions and standards for visitors and residents. "Tourism is one of our most important industries and it is a priority of our government to ensure our visitors enjoy all Vanuatu has to offer.
12pm Good afternoon, this is the noon update on the situation in Port Vila. Three air ambulances from Brisbane arrived in Port Vila mid-morning for the next series of guest transfers to Brisbane for specialist medical treatment. Arrangements for air ambulance flights are now in place for all guests who sustained significant injuries in yesterday's bus accident. We want to thank health authorities in Vanuatu for their assistance in this complex medical evacuation. This has been a major event for Port Vila health services and our guests have been cared for very well. We took the decision to relieve pressure on local services by coordinating the air lift to hospitals in Noumea and Brisbane. We also wish to thank our guests on Pacific Dawn for their patience and understanding. Like us, they are concerned that their fellow guests receive the best possible care.
1:35pm Good afternoon, here's the latest update on the unfolding situation in Port Vila. As reported earlier, arrangements are now in place for the airlift of all Pacific Dawn guests who need specialist medical care in Noumea and Brisbane. We kept Pacific Dawn in Port Vila until we were certain that the airlift of the 10 guests was well underway. The airlift is now well advanced and we have given Pacific Dawn the all clear to depart from Port Vila. Our Care team member and local port agent remain on scene at Port Vila as the airlift continues to completion. Pacific Dawn is proceeding to Isle of Pines which was the scheduled call for tomorrow on the current cruise, prior to Dawn's return to Brisbane. We again thank Pacific Dawn guests for their patience and understanding during this time.