FRA Mounts Bay Anguilla

RFA Mounts Bay Arrives In British Virgin Islands After Hurricane Irma

The supply ship RFA Mounts Bay is now in the vicinity of the British Virgin Islands to help with the relief effort following Hurricane Irma...

FRA Mounts Bay Anguilla

Picture Credit: Twitter @DefenceHQ

UK supply ship RFA Mounts Bay is now in the British Virgin Islands region to help with the relief effort following Hurricane Irma.

The overseas territory has declared a state of emergency as houses have been reduced to their foundations and many roads left impassable following the "devastating" storm.

On board RFA Mounts Bay are around 40 Royal Marines and Army engineers, they will be assisting the authorities and carrying out damage assessment from the air. 

The ship will then need to relocate to safety, to avoid Hurricane Jose, which is expected to hit in the coming days.

RFA Mounts Bay stopped in Anguilla on Thursday, where troops went ashore to help repair local infrastructure and cleared the airport runway which has now reopened for emergency flights. 

Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters also transported humanitarian supplies to shore.

RFA Mounts Bay Anguilla
RFA Mounts Bay arrives in Anguilla

RFA Mounts Bay was already in the region and according to the Ministry of Defence "can provide a high level of capability and flexibility during disaster relief operations".

She can also provide emergency supplies of food, water and personnel – as well as medical support, temporary shelter and sanitation and the repair of infrastructure.

RFA Mounts Bay Anguilla

The Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Ocean is also on her way to join the relief effort, having been diverted from deployment in the Mediterranean.

It could take her up to two weeks to arrive, but she carries on board Puma helicopters, as well as engineers, Royal Marines and medical advisers.

Team Rubicon UK (TRUK), a group that uses the experience of military veterans to aid disaster relief missions, is moving to a forward position in response to the storm.