In August 2018, the island of Lombok, Indonesia, was hit with a series of earthquakes that left about 500 people dead and hundreds, if not more, of homes and buildings severely damaged.
Fifty-one-meter S/Y Dunia Baru was scheduled to go in for maintenance when the earthquakes occurred, but the yacht’s owner Mark Robba knew right away it had to be postponed in order to help. The vessel was in Bali when the earthquakes hit so they were in a great position to act as a platform for delivering much-needed items.
“Indonesia and all its amazing islands are Dunia Baru’s home and we are part of the community; community comes together in times of need,” Robba says. “We mobilized quickly, gathering supplies from thousands of dollars’ worth of donations from charter clients, colleagues, and friends, in the space of a few days and set sail on August 26.”
Based out of Medana Bay Marina, the team of 15 guests (including Robba, his wife and son, Nikko Karki from Indo Yachts, and Fleur Tomlinson from 37 South) and the 18-member crew visited a number of villages in northeast Lombok and some farther inland that had yet to receive much aid due to the terrible road conditions. Homes had been flattened, roads made nearly impassable due to debris, and families were displaced across northeast Lombok.
With the help of four military police, four drivers, and four truck drivers, they delivered supplies to villages and people along the roads. The supplies included 2,000 kilograms of rice, 3,000 liters of water, 1,400 blankets, various food items, toys, and lots of clothing.
“From the moment we arrived on the island, the effects of the earthquakes were everywhere. The level of damage to buildings and roads was really shocking,” says Chief Steward Wayan Erry Wirawan. “People were living under tarps in temporary shelters. There was rubble everywhere. There is so much to be done to help people rebuild their lives, but if we were able to help even a little bit with the supplies we delivered, I am really glad.”
For Head Chef Nyoman Wijana, helping Lombok was of great importance because he has friends and former colleagues on the island whose homes were affected. “While we were on Lombok, I cooked over five hundred meals, which were handed out to victims and rescue workers,” Wijana says. “Being able to cook for people who have been through so much and lost so much, allowed me to make a positive difference, even just for a few minutes in a small way.”
Often yachts travel to remote places that are difficult to reach by land, which gives them the opportunity to offer first-hand support and aid. Robba notes the importance of giving back to the areas they cruise in, and it makes the yachting lifestyle more fulfilling. “Every encounter on this trip will stay with me. They have lost and endured so much, and yet continue to show extraordinary strength and resilience in the face of new hardships every day,” Robba says. “Yet everywhere we went we were greeted by smiling faces and warm appreciation. It was really humbling.”
Lombok still needs help. Not only do they need supplies, but also funds for tools, bulldozers, and trucks to start cleaning rubble and rebuilding, Robba says. If you’re looking to help, Dunia Baru has compiled a list on their blog, which you can visit: https://duniabaru.com/how-to-help-the-people-of-lombok/