There are few occassions in ones life where you meet an individual who is quite simply 'in the right place at the right time'. Capt. Alister, Mv Contraband is such a man.
Alister along with his wife Ling and new baby girl, and son Derrick, on their Mv Contraband were the only reason that 99% of the salvage work done in Savu Savu was completed with so little damage and at so little cost.
I was delighted to be able to assist an a small way as part of his crew and witnessed his patient skill in not only boat handling, but people handling as day after day we would attend 'the next' in a serious of anxious boat owners demands. Alister has 'a way' about him, a very calming influence and combined with his very acute boat sense he could maneuver, and gentle nudge a 20 ton boat inch after inch until she was floating on her own hull with nary a scratch during the exercise. This was not easy work, and often times done with very little appreciation by those who should have been falling over backwards with thanks. Unfortunately as well, many of the damaged boats were the possessions of those with little or no funds and were very reluctant to even assist in paying for the fuel costs to run Contraband. This only furthers my esteem for Alister. He is a Good Man, an excellent Captain and in time of need... 'da Man to call!
I am happy to report that over the past two months all but two boats were safely salvaged at almost no cost to anyone. Those of us who could dive did so…re-fixing moorings, returning solar panels, wind generators, chain, anchors and all manner of items that had been torn off boats during the storm. Under Curly’s watchful eye and with Alister’s patient control, every high tide witnessed yet another boat being pulled out of harm’s way and re-floated to a mooring. It has been a herculean effort and one I am proud to have participated in.