RFA Mounts Bay has returned to the British Virgin Islands four months on from Hurricanes Irma and Maria to support continuing recovery operations.
The three day visit will see the vessel working on tasks from the local Department of Disaster Management. According to Governor’s Office spokeswoman Maria Mays, works will include cleanup at the DDM Office building in MacNamara, realignment of the Cane Garden siren and improvement and recovery works at the Elmore Soutt High School including debris removal and repainting.
Commenting on the return of the vessel on his personal Twitter account the islands’ governor Gus Jaspert said it was “emotional waking up today seeing RFA Mounts Bay come in to view again. Memories of it arriving before to help so much in the difficult first days after Irma.”
The Governor has already had meetings with the Mounts Bay’s Captain, Stephen Norris, to discuss the work to be undertaken and has announced that the ship’s company will be volunteering their time to undertake the work. This visit to the British Virgin Islands was originally scheduled as a rest break.
Mounts Bay’s time in the Caribbean has seen a large number of goodwill and community visits made between her operational commitments. Spending time in Hamilton a few weeks ago the Bermuda Sea Cadets Corp got an early Christmas treat touring the vessel and hearing the crew’s first hand experiences of their work following Hurricane Irma.
The ship’s distinguished service as first responder to the hurricane disasters have seen it awarded the Fleet Efficiency Flag for the second year in the row. The vessel received the 2016 award for its handling of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean,
Praising his crew on the announcement of the award Captain Norris said that, “winning the ‘ship of the year’ title for the second year running is a great honour for all those who worked so hard to ensure success while deployed on Atlantic Patrol Task North.”