|Subject: Fishermen set for prize catch
The Gold Coast Bulletin
December 19, 2001, Wednesday
Fishermen set for prize catch
EAGLEBY volunteers have raised funds to buy two wooden fishing boats which will be donated to struggling East Timorese fishermen to help them provide seafood for the territory's stricken population.
Fifty-eight-year-old invalid pensioner Mike Maskell and others involved in the Aussie Boats for East Timor project held an official launch of the boats at Jacobs Well this week.
The six-metre boats, which cost $1200 each, are based on the traditional canoe and designed specifically for fishing. They will carry three-quarters of a tonne of fish.
Mr Maskell, a Londoner who moved to Australia 40 years ago, said there was a great need for the boats because 2000 of the 3500 fishing boats in East Timor had been stolen or destroyed.
"You take two-thirds of the fishing fleet out of the economy and you've got a lot of hungry people," he said.
Mr Maskell began the fundraising effort 18 months ago and has worked tirelessly since, despite having suffered three heart attacks in the past two months.
Mr Maskell hopes his Eagleby 'crew' will be able to raise enough money for two more boats before sending all four by container ship to East Timor.
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