Navy

'No Doubt' RFA Mounts Bay Made Difference During Caribbean Deployment

The ship returned to the UK on Saturday after spending more than three years deployed in the Caribbean.

RFA Mounts Bay's commanding officer says there is "no doubt" the ship made a difference to the Caribbean during a three-year deployment.

The ship returned to the UK from the region on Saturday, after carrying out counter-narcotic operations, as well as assisting with hurricane and disaster relief. 

Mounts Bay first responded to Hurricane Irma in 2017 and most recently, played a key role in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian - a category five hurricane that killed dozens and left thousands missing.

"There is no doubt, that from the islands that we visited during my time here, that the presence and the importance of Mounts Bay in the region cannot be understated," Captain Kevin Rimell, Commanding Officer, said. 

Capt Rimell said "everywhere that we went" Mounts Bay was praised for her work in both hurricanes, "in particular" after Hurricane Dorian.

"These people look at us as a lifeline," he added.

RFA Mounts Bay in Portland after Caribbean deployment 160320 CREDIT BFBS
RFA Mounts Bay will undergo a refit next month.

Last month, the ship helped seize more than £35 million worth of illegal drugs.

Working alongside the US Coastguard and law enforcement, RFA Mounts Bay helped confiscate 1,400 kilograms of cocaine.

Now, the ship is back in Portland, Dorset, where she is preparing to undergo a refit in Falmouth next month.

"It's definitely a change of pace," said Third Officer Andrew Sayer.

"You come from a very high-stress, high-tense environment with the operations.

"Coming back to the UK and into Portland, it's nice to have a little bit of down time but it's important that we get the ship in a good state to go into the refit." 

Before the refit can begin, the ship has to 'destore' - taking off all of its kit and equipment.

The Royal Navy's HMS Medway is taking over from RFA Mounts Bay as the Atlantic Patrol Tasking (North) ship in the Caribbean.