Posted on September 9, 2019
The Royal Navy has deployed extra medics and is sending another ship to the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. A team of 18 military medical staff arrived in the Bahamas on Saturday evening and will provide emergency care, surgery and intensive care to those in need. They joined support ship RFA Mounts Bay which has been delivering aid to the islands since Wednesday. Meanwhile, HMS Protector has been re-tasked to the Bahamas.
The Royal Navy’s only ice patrol ship is set to sail to the islands where it will provide further support to the disaster relief efforts.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the “Royal Navy is on hand to help”: “They have acted swiftly to deploy an extra 18 medical personnel from the UK to the Bahamas, where they will provide desperately needed expertise. As part of this quick response, we’re working closely with our US counterparts in delivering assistance to the Bahamas. Our thoughts remain with those affected and those who have lost loved ones and homes.”
British military personnel have been working alongside other partners in the region, including the US Coast Guard, whose helicopters have refuelled on RFA Mounts Bay. The medics deploying to the Bahamas are held at high-readiness and have to be ready to go anywhere in the world within 48 hours. The Navy has so far provided emergency shelter and hygiene kits for hundreds of people, more than 8,000 bottles of water and hundreds of days worth of food.
A total of 43 people are known to have died in the Bahamas as a result of Hurricane Dorian which has left thousands of people awaiting evacuation. Speaking to Forces News on Friday, RFA Mounts Bay’s Commanding Officer, Captain Rob Anders, praised his teams’ “around the clock” rescue efforts.
On Thursday, the ship’s Wildcat helicopter saved a British citizen as well as a mother and her three children from the rubble.
The British Government has pledged £1.5 million to help deliver aid, saying it is estimated that several hundred British nationals live in the worst affected areas of the Bahamas.
Army personnel from the Royal Engineers and Royal Fleet Auxillary have also been part of the relief efforts.