This story was submitted by Zuiderdam’s environmental officer, Ralph Bladen.
During a recent staff meeting we were discussing the task of changing all 800 crew mattresses. We decided that the best way to achieve this would be to complete the project in stages of 200 mattresses at a time.
We decided that light loading days in Fort Lauderdale were the best days to take on the new mattresses. It’s OK getting new mattresses, but what are we going to do with the old ones?
As the ship’s environmental officer, I approached the ship agent in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, and asked if he could help. Without a moment’s hesitation Jorge said he would contact the Red Cross and see if they could use that many mattresses.
Within 24 hours Jorge informed me that Puerto Limon had recently suffered from severe flooding and a minor earthquake and the families in the local area had many of their homes literally washed away.
On 24th February, 2009, we commenced our first offload of 200 mattresses into a lorry provided by the Red Cross. the ship agent was overwhelmed by the idea and could not thank the ship enough for helping to make the lives of the people of Puerto Limon bearable as they try to put their lives and homes back together again.
It is worth a special mention to Chief Housekeeper Mario and his hard-working housekeeping staff to thank them for making the loading and donation process run so smoothly.