UK navy support crew gets to work in Dominica

| 10/09/2015 | 4 Comments
Cayman News Service

Coulibistri, Dominica – Commandos from the Royal Engineers and Royal Marines work with US Coastguard and local authorities to dig a vehicle out of the mud (Photo by Cadet (SE) Phil Corner)

(CNS): The crew on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay have been earning their keep over the last week working on the island of Dominica following Tropical Storm Erika. The British Navy vessel has spent six days stationed off Dominica after rerouting to the island to offer support. “The ship has provided a variety of services ranging from distributing much needed food and supplies to some of the more isolated and worst affected villages, to road clearance and clearing homes and community buildings buried under the mudslides which have caused so much damage,” Commanding Officer Captain Paul Minter (RFA) said.

The ship was in Cayman in July when the vessel dropped of the governor’s new Jaguar and the crew enjoyed some recreation before it returned to patrolling the Caribbean, where it was spending the hurricane season in case it was needed for support, as has been the case in Dominica, and to engage in counter narcotics efforts.

But the ship has now depleted her disaster relief stores and needs to resupply to ensure she is ready to offer further aid in the Caribbean should any other storm develop. As the ship leaves the region she will be replaced by the arrival of the HMNLS Pelikaan.

As work wrapped up in Dominica, the captain said there had been considerable damage there but teams ashore had been successful in “digging out vehicles, and clearing the school, church and communal washing facilities in the village of Coulibistri which was deluged by mudslides, whilst our teams onboard and ashore have produced and distributed over 6,000 hot meals as well as other food and stores items to outlying communities.”

The crew also offered support to the communities of Coulibistrie, Colihaut, Dublanc and Bioche. The ship’s Royal Navy Lynx helicopter flew to the villages of Grand Bay, Campbell, Boetica, Delices and Petite Savanne to drop off supplies, conduct surveys and evacuate a medical patient. Over 25 resupply flights moved around two tons of stores per day to these cut-off communities and allowed disaster managers and civil engineers to plan the continued recovery programme long after RFA Lyme Bay has departed.

Lt Max Cosby RN, one of the Lynx aircrew, said it was impressive to see how much had been done already. “Although there are recovery projects which will take many months to complete the island’s disaster relief managers were clearly able to use the first-response assets of Lyme Bay to make a difference,” he added.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Fundraiser Update from Minister Royer of the Church of Christ: (3 Saturdays for the drive Today Sep 12, Next Saturday Sep 19 and the following Saturday Sep 26 as follows:)

    The first will be held this Saturday, Sept. 12 at both the George Town and West Bay Church of Christ. Then, on Sept. 19, fundraising efforts will be held outside several local supermarkets. On Sept. 26, additional fundraisers will be held at the churches. The church fundraisers will be held between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Certain donations are needed more than others. Minister Royer said basic essentials, flashlights, blankets, first-aid kits and dry foods are the most in demand. He urged those who wish to assist not to donate water, which is heavy and expensive to ship, and to go easy on clothes.

  2. Anonymous says:



    Cayman Airways will fly a plane load of supplies over once they get enough donations.

    Please everyone donate what you can to help the people of Dominica through this tragic and difficult time.

    Tarps, blankets, sheets, towels, clothes, feminine products, toiletries, baby supplies, underwear, shoes, laundry detergents, etc, and any non-perishable foods.

    Thank You Very Much & God Bless You.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good job boys.

  4. Cayman Blessings says:

    Well we see now why our beloved government felt motivated to make such a contribution I only hope we keep it up with other Caribbean brothers and sisters when it occurs although it never happen last season when St Vincent suffered the same faith! Aaaah boy talk about coincidences Caymanians paying for others to promote their foreign influence in other places.

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