RFA Mounts Bay is pre positioned and ready to respond as Tropical Storm Issac grows. It is likely to be upgraded to a hurricane in the coming hours.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said “There is a growing consensus that this system could threaten the Lesser Antilles during the middle or latter part of the week”. Fortunately, the current track of Isaac will take it south of the areas that were worst hit by Irma and Maria last year.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 9, 2018
Crucially, Mounts May may also have to respond to Hurricane Florence too. According to the US National Hurricane Center, Florence is expected to become a major hurricane.
‘There is an increasing risk of coastal storm surge flooding and freshwater flooding from heavy prolonged rainfall when the hurricane approaches the U.S.’
NHC on Florence
On 5th September, Mounts Bay confirmed it was monitoring the hurricane as it tracked west towards the US. However, should both Florence and Issac have catastrophic effects, the Foreign Office would likely prioritise assistance to the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.
She currently has a detachment of Royal Marines onboard, as well as a Wildcat HMA2 operating in the region for the first time since the Wildcat entered service.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is notably currently docked at Naval Station Mayport preparing for F-35 trials.
Mayport is south of the projected track of Hurricane Florence, however there has been some speculation as to whether Queen Elizabeth could be tasked to respond. It is understood she has stores onboard that would facilitate her providing humanitarian assistance.