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HMS Ocean Arrives in Caribbean to Boost UK Disaster Relief Effort

25 September 2017

The Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Ocean has arrived in the British Virgin Islands to support those affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria. 

The ship arrived with around 650 personnel and 60 tonnes of aid including construction equipment and other essential materials such as hygiene kits and water purification tablets.

Ocean’s arrival means there are now over 2,000 UK military personnel working on the relief effort, making it the largest deployment of UK personnel anywhere in the world.

In the coming days she will deliver aid and equipment where it is needed on the islands. She is then due to continue to other territories affected by this month’s storms, as the Department for International Development (DFID) works with the Overseas Territories’ Governments on a long term plan to get the islands back on their feet.

There are considerable military assets in the region supporting UK personnel in the relief effort. RFA Mounts Bay has been in region since July, responding to initial disaster relief effort.

There is also a C-130 aircraft and two Chinook helicopters providing tactical airlift operations, three Puma and a Wildcat helicopter conducting reconnaissance flights and helping to deliver supplies and aid. On board, HMS Ocean also carried three Wildcat Mk1, one Merlin Mk2, three Merlin Mk3 and two Chinook helicopters.

The UK has already committed £57m to the relief effort and are matching public commitments to the British Red Cross Appeal up to £3m, and so far 75 tonnes of much-needed humanitarian aid has arrived or been bought in the region.

There are also six FCO Rapid Deployment Teams in the region to work closely with the governments and 36 DFID aid experts on the ground working on immediate recovery and the long term humanitarian effort.

Source: MOD