BRITAIN is sending one of the most capable ships in its fleet to help the storm-ravaged Caribbean country of Dominica.
Latest reports say more than 20 people have died after tropical storm Erika hit the island, which is home to 72,000 people. Many of those to die were caught in mudslides. The storm has wrecked roads and bridges across the island. Half the population is without electricity.
Now RFA Lyme Bay, a 16,000 tonne Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship is being sent to the area to help
Equipped with medical facilities, generators, water making equipment, and other disaster relief stores, the ship, also has a Lynx MK8 helicopter which operates from the vessel’s large flight deck.
Here is that helicopter operating from the ship off Bermuda in July.
Lyme Bay, one of three ships of her type in service with the RFA also has a container deck, and a floodable dock from which landing craft and specialized barges can operate.
The ship is stationed in the region to be in place for just this type of emergency and her deployment to Dominica highlights her flexibility. Originally ordered as a vessel to provide logistic back-up for amphibious military operations, the ship and her sisters can rapidly “re-role” from military duties to provide a base for humanitarian relief operations.