04 July, 2024

Royal Navy ship sails to support Caribbean hurricane relief effort

HMS Trent will deploy to the Cayman Islands to offer support following damage caused by Hurricane Beryl.

Royal Navy warship HMS Trent will deploy to the Cayman Islands to offer UK support following the devastation brought this week by Hurricane Beryl.

HMS Trent, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, is scheduled to arrive in the Cayman Islands this weekend, where her crew will be ready to offer assistance with equipment and support to help communities affected by flooding and storm damage.

The hurricane, which has previously been rated Category 5, could bring winds of more than 155mph and has already caused a large amount of destruction in the region this week. 

HMS Trent is crewed by more than 50 sailors and departed from Puerto Rico yesterday, carrying bottled water, basic emergency supplies, and equipment.

The ship has a Crisis Response Troop embarked, comprising members of 24 Commando Royal Engineers and their equipment, and further augmented with personnel to support planning, information operations, meteorological forecasting, and image capture. 

Additional personnel include a team from 700X Naval Air Squadron who provide HMS Trent’s embarked PUMA Flight (Remote Piloted Air System), allowing them to conduct airborne reconnaissance and damage assessment in direct support of 24 Commando activity. 

A specialist Rapid Deployment Team has already travelled to the Eastern Caribbean to provide consular assistance to any affected British Nationals. The UK continues to work with the Caribbean’s crisis response organisation, CDEMA, to provide assistance for the worst affected islands, including St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.

In previous years, members of the Armed Forces have deployed to the Caribbean under Operation Ventus to provide humanitarian assistance in the form of food and basic medical relief, as well as engineering to repair damaged homes and infrastructure, and creating flood and hurricane defences.

Hurricane Beryl has been described as the earliest ever Category 5 storm to form in the Atlantic, with storms of this scale usually recorded later in the summer.

HMS Trent has been deployed to the Caribbean since the end of 2023, where she has been disrupting drug networks across the world following a series of drugs seizures at sea.

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