RFA Mounts Bay on exercise off the US coast (Picture: Royal Navy).

British Support Ship 'Ready To Assist' With Hurricane Dorian

RFA Mounts Bay is heading for the Bahamas to standby to provide support.

RFA Mounts Bay on exercise off the US coast (Picture: Royal Navy).

Library picture showing RFA Mounts Bay on exercise off the coast of the US (Picture: Royal Navy).

The crew on board RFA Mounts bay have completed their "final checks" and say they are ready to respond to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas if required.

On Sunday evening, a tweet by the vessel's Twitter account said: "All personnel on board are ready to assist."

RFA Mounts Bay is equipped with specialist personnel, stores, and transport as well as a Wildcat helicopter, and has been in the region since June preparing for hurricane season.

It is designed to land Royal Marines and their equipment during amphibious operations.

Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas with record 185mph winds ripping off roofs, overturning cars and tearing down power lines.

A Twitter post made by Mounts Bay's crew on Monday night (Picture: @RFAMountsBay/Twitter).

The Category 4 storm's top sustained winds decreased slightly to 170mph as its westward movement slowed, crawling along Grand Bahama island early on Monday in what forecasters said would be a day-long assault.

Forecasters said Dorian was most likely to begin pulling away from the Bahamas early on Tuesday and curve to the north-east parallel to the US Southeast seaboard.

Weather forecaster Alex Deakin said: "This is a catastrophic hurricane, it's a record-breaker, it's one of the most powerful ever recorded in this part of the world, the most powerful ever to make landfall in the Bahamas.

"This is a beast of a storm.

"One of the problems, not just the windspeed, but how slow it's moving so parts of the Bahamas are being battered hour after hour by these incredible winds and torrential, torrential rain."

In 2017, 1,000 British military personnel were deployed to the Caribbean to assist in the relief efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Jose.

It included crews from HMS Ocean and RFA Mounts Bay, which were among those which delivered aid.