Following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday the 14th of August, RFA Wave Knight has been sent to the area to help provide disaster relief.
RFA Wave Knight has been forward deployed to the Caribbean since June to provide disaster relief to the UK Overseas Territories & any other nations that require it.
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The vessel, while primarily serving as a tanker, can also be equipped to carry the supplies necessary to support humanitarian operations, such as carrying 380,000 liters of water, 2,000 disaster relief packages & 150 tons of food.
RFA Wave Knight arrived off the coast of Haiti on August 19th to begin supporting the relief efforts. The UK Government confirmed that Wave Knight will assist the United States in their response by serving as a landing platform for US helicopters carrying out humanitarian work. This will ensure that those helicopters are able to extend their range to continue providing life-saving humanitarian relief.
RFA Wave Knight has since been operating both their embarked Wildcat & US Blackhawk helicopters. As part of the wider UK response, the UK will also be sending experts from the UK Emergency Medical Team to Haiti to further assist the UK response.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the following in regards to the UK response:
“Communities in the Caribbean can rely on the Royal Navy to come to their aid when disaster strikes. The Royal Navy has a proud history of supporting British Overseas Territories and other partners in the Caribbean during hurricane season. I’m proud that the UK can now play a part in the US effort to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.”