Having been tasked with rescuing bushfire-trapped residents on the southeast coast, the Royal Australian Navy accomplished an ununusual mission Friday as it found itself delilvering beer to a country pub on the verge of running dry.
Agence France Presse reported that more than a thousand people have been evacuated from the town of Mallacoota, with the military sending aircraft to rescue families marooned there since New Year’s Eve.
The Navy has additionally been tasked with delivering crucial supplies, including a cargo of beer cans to thirsty survivors, a department of defense spokesperson confirmed to AFP. “The beer is not occupying unnecessary space on HMAS Choules and essential supplies were not offloaded to accommodate the beer,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Carlton and United Breweries were quoted as saying that it had dropped the alcohol at the Cerberus naval base to be delivered to the Mallacoota Hotel, after it was on the verge of running out. The delivery reportedly includes 20 kegs and four pallets of beer and cider for a town that usually has a population of around 1,000.
“A pub with no beer is bad enough at the best of times,” Carlton and United Breweries CEO Peter Filipovic told AFP.
“After what Mallacoota residents and firies have been through the least we could do is make sure they could enjoy a beer.”
“We’re not sure if the Navy has ever shipped beer to civilians before but these fires are an extraordinary disaster,” said Filipovic.
The 16,000-tonne relief ship HMAS Choules was due to return to Mallacoota with the beer on Friday, according to the department of defence.
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