British ship en route to Dominica in tropical storm response


Royal Fleet Auxillary (RFA) Lyme Bay will provide humanitarian support in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika

United Kingdom –– Royal Fleet Auxillary (RFA) Lyme Bay has been rerouted to assist humanitarian relief efforts in the Commonwealth country of Dominica following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

The British ship is carrying a range of disaster relief stores including bedding, shelter, torches and stretchers, as well as a Lynx Mk 8 helicopter and considerable supplies of fresh water.

Tropical Storm Erika hit Dominica on 27 August 2015, resulting in severe flooding, landslides and wide spread infrastructure damage across the island. RFA Lyme Bay is stationed in the Caribbean and as part of its primary tasking acts as a first responder in the event of a disaster in the region.

Justine Greening said:

It is clear that Dominica has borne the brunt of this storm, with a number of deaths already confirmed and hundreds of people made homeless. Roads, bridges and health clinics have been affected and large parts of the island are without water and electricity.

Part of RFA Lyme Bay’s tasking is to respond to just this sort of emergency and the ship is already en route to assist with relief efforts. As well as essential supplies and helicopter support, the ship can also provide vital expertise to help clean-up operations and recovery efforts.

Notes to editors

  • Damage assessment and needs analysis are ongoing. The Government of Dominica has declared nine Special Disaster Areas.
  • RFA Lyme Bay set off for Dominica early on Monday morning and transit time is circa 48 hours.
  • RFA Lyme Bay’s primary responsibilities are supporting the UK Overseas Territories during Hurricane season by conducting humanitarian related patrols in the Caribbean, but the ship also acts as a first responder in the event of a disaster in the area.