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Companies join on Thailand flood relief

Two marine companies recently provided aid to residents of Thailand, which is in the middle of its worst flooding in more than 50 years.

Viking Life-Saving Equipment and Defender Industries recently contributed to relief efforts. The flooding in Thailand has killed more than 300 people, displaced another 100,000 and caused widespread damage.

Viking joined forces with the Thai Red Cross Society and the Danish ambassador couple in Bangkok, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Hemniti Winther, to distribute more than 400 life jackets among towns and villages in flood-affected areas.

The life jackets were handed over Oct. 28 by Viking's managing director in Thailand, Morten Halfdan Petersen, to the Red Cross.

“Our facility in Laem Chabang employs over 650 people,” Petersen said in a statement. “We have been here for almost 10 years. We have deep roots in the community, and it is devastating to see how much damage and despair these unprecedented water levels are causing.”

In addition to the life jackets, Viking employees and their families have made an effort to collect clothing and toys, and cash donations for food and water supplies.

On Nov. 3, within six hours of receiving a request from the U.S. State Department and the American Embassy in Thailand, Defender Industries air-freighted eight recently launched 14-foot Defender inflatable rescue boats in custom packages with 25-hp and 30-hp Evinrude E-Tec outboards and much-needed life jackets.

The previous week, Defender responded to a similar urgent request for eight larger boats with greater capacity.

“Defender is one of very few suppliers globally that has sufficient inventory of turnkey emergency response vessels and outboard engines on hand to ship, complete, an emergency agency request to a disaster area within 24 hours,” company president Stephan Lance said in a statement.

“This year alone, Defender has provided rescue boats to dozens of agencies, including four 20-foot RHIB patrol boats for Connecticut Environmental Police and 20 boat and motor packages for the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and to many municipal fire and rescue departments around the U.S., in addition to the shipments for the U.S. Department of State for the disaster in Thailand,” he added.

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