Red Cross provides psychosocial support after Hunan ferry accident

Publicado: 12 junio 2015 10:19 CET

Ma Hui & Shu Liu, IFRC

Immediately after the tragic capsizing of the ferry boat “Eastern Star” on the Yangtze river in the Hunan province of China, the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) joined forces with the government and other emergency responders to provide psychosocial support and assist with rescue efforts. Out of the 456 people who were on board, more than 400 are known to have died, leaving behind thousands of mourning family members.

Since the day of the accident, Red Cross branches from the nearby provinces of Hubei, Jiangsu, Hunan and Henan provided extensive support to the rescue operation. 84 Red Cross volunteers and staff took part in search and rescue efforts, providing psychosocial support (PSS) to survivors and families of those who died in the accident. 12 psychosocial support professionals from Hubei provincial Red Cross branch and two from Wuxi Red Cross Branch (Jiangsu province) were among the first responders at the scene of the accident.  

57 rescuers from the Blue Sky Rescue Teams of the Hunan provincial Red Cross branch brought vital rescue equipment to the scene, including inflatable boats and emergency lighting which helped them find three dead bodies 50 kilometres downstream from the site of the accident. Additional staff from the Hunan branch provided full logistics support to the rescue teams. 13 people from the Eagle Rescue Team of the Luoyang Red Cross branch in Henan province also joined the operation, providing sophisticated equipment such an unmanned aircraft, radar, inflatable speed boats and other tools which helped the team to locate another body 20 kilometres downstream from the wreck of the ferry.

The Shanghai Red Cross branch remains on standby to provide additional assistance whenever it may be needed.