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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 24 February, 2020

Irish non-profit staff help save Filipino typhoon victims

300 people were taken from a ferry in the Philippines, with the help of Irish aid volunteers.

THE MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS of an Irish non-profit were involved in a dramatic sea rescue in the Philippines yesterday.

Disaster Tech Lab, a non-profit that specialises in providing communication and internet services in disaster zones, have had a pre-hospital medical team on the ground in the Philippines since December.

The group is currently training local volunteers on CPR and other first aid skills.


On Friday, the team in Bantanyan received word that a small typhoon had created problems with a ferry docking. One of the charity’s volunteers was one of the 300 people onboard and an evacuation of the boat was made. He was carrying wi-fi equipment that was to be used in an area affected by November’s Typhoon Haiyan.

In all, 300 people were moved to fishing vessels.


In the midst of the evacuation, a fishing boat capsized, tossing eight people into the water. On of those who fell into the water was seriously injured. She was struck by the boat and received head and back injuries.

She was taken to Bantanya hospital and her injuries are described as “critical”.


Evert Bopp of Disaster Tech Lab said that the incident showed the need for “coordinated emergency services on the island”.

“There were no other serious injuries and, luckily, everyone is back on land.

“We were originally doing internet services and communication, but the current Philippines deployment is the first one where we have, in response to request from on the ground, added a medical capacity to our team.

“For the last week, we’ve been joined by volunteers from Careline Ambulance Service.”

imageAll pics: Disaster Tech Lab

Column: My Christmas in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan

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