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Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean will now sail to support the UK government’s disaster relief operation in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

She will join RFA Mounts Bay, which has been delivering immediate aid since the weather system hit, providing food, water and medical supplies to Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

HMS Ocean will load 200 pallets of UK Aid and 60 pallets of Emergency Relief Stores (ERS).

These contain power tools to help rebuild communities, emergency shelters for those left homeless as well as items such as water purification kits and nappies.

The ship is able to provide: 

  • Clothes for more than 500 people, ranging from new born children to adults
  • Shower and toilet facilities
  • Medical aid. The onboard team can provide everything from immediate life saving intervention, outreach medical clinics including vaccinations and preventative environmental health advice to tackle communicable disease.
  • Surgical facilities
  • Engineering capability and equipment to repair buildings and create shelters, as well as the ability to dig trenches and other ground works to re-establish local infrastructure
  • 8MW of power generation capacity – approx enough to power 8000 homes
  • 300 tonnes of fresh water produced daily
  • Over 650 highly trained engineers, logisticians, medical staff and Royal Marines
  • Dozens of all terrain vehicles vehicle held onboard to include tracked vehicles.
  • An air wing comprising 10 helicopters to include Chinook, Merlin and Wildcat.
  • Enough communications to coordinate complex operations in multiple displaced ground locations from the sea or alongside.

Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean Captain Robert Pedre said:

“My ship’s company is extremely motivated and ready to join UK units already in the Caribbean to deliver humanitarian assistance and conduct disaster relief in this FCO and DfID led operation.

HMS Ocean has made a brief stop alongside Gibraltar to embark extra stores, equipment and personnel to complement that which is already in the Caribbean or en route to the area. The ship has trained extensively for this type of operation; we are primed and ready to go.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent effort and great example of what we should focus a much reduced Aid budget to be the best in the word at.

    DFIF should take out fractional use policy for helos, Bays, Ocean (replacement) etc as significant part of their budget.

    • It has been announced that no money from the foreign aid budget will be used for this effort as these islands are deemed too wealthy to qualify for aid. Perhaps the Royal Navy/RAF should bill the BVI, Barbuda etc?

  2. Some UK tourists are whining about how long it’s taken for help to get to them. Just a suggestion but why don’t they explain why they booked their holiday in the Caribbean during Hurricane season ? Maybe they’ll express outrage at how cold it is during their next holiday in Greenland ?

  3. What a great asset Ocean is proving to be!
    Shame about this government’s idiotic move to sell her off far too early without replacement!

    • Ocean was only designed for 20 years service. She is knackered. However, she needs to be replaced..but we also need to recruit more sailors. All political parties are to blame for the state of our Armed Forces.

  4. Theses are small islands i know and i also know they are not very rich but and i say again but they live in a hurricane area surly they could have at least stockpiled something like water or generators and fuel in a solidly built structure knowing that at sometime they will be hit
    Probably get hammerd by the goddies goodies for saying that

    • Many of the islanders maybe, but there’s a load of super rich tax dodgers out there also, how much is Branson going to cough up to help out

  5. Baz..that is exactly what any sane person would do. They had enough money to buy yachts (now smashed up) and build swimming pools (now sea water contaminated) yet had no foresight to plan for the contingency of a once in a hundred years storm like Irma. Just daft. Now we have to deploy our soon to be scrapped Ocean to save them all.
    Does show you the immense worth of a 20,000-25,000 ton LPH. We need to replace Ocean asap.

    • The National Ship Building Strategy was supposed to address the timescales for ship replacements but what we got in the end was a very half-baked diagram.

      The government needs to be open and honest with the Royal Navy and public about the status of HMS Ocean and its future replacement.

  6. Have to agree, storing basic supplies is just common sense.

    Great to see us helping out but I think we could manage more than 32 million from our 13 Billion aid budget.

    I also would like to see 2 replacement LPH replacements. They are great value versatile ships. I realise crewing is an issue but given a build time of 5_8 years for the 2 I am certain the money could and should be found to crew them.

    Humanitarian relief is a grt way to project soft power and the running costs could come from the foreign aid budget whilst providing aid.

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