Man helps bring disaster relief to tropical island

RFA LYME BAY LANDING SHIP DOCK led by Worthing man Paul Minter to provide disaster relife for those in Dominica SUS-150915-172341001
RFA LYME BAY LANDING SHIP DOCK led by Worthing man Paul Minter to provide disaster relife for those in Dominica SUS-150915-172341001

Last month, 35 people were killed after a tropical storm heading across the Caribbean devastated the small island of Dominica.

Twelve hours of rain caused the rivers to burst and resulted in rock and landslides that completely destroyed homes.

Commanding Officer of the British Naval Auxiliary and Worthing resident, Paul Minter, led the landing ship, Lyme Bay, to Dominica to help those affected by the terrible disaster that has left many homeless.

Mr Minter said: “Myself and all the officers and crew on board were only too glad to be able to have provided support to the island of Dominica during their time of need.

“Providing humanitarian and disaster relief is why the ship has been deployed, and although we exercise for just such an eventuality, there is no substitute for conducting a real life event, and the response that we receive cannot be replicated in any exercise.”

The ship’s medical facility has an operating theatre, treatment room, consulting room, two intensive care beds, as well as an additional six low dependency beds.

The crew handed out food, water and essential supplies, as well as nappies and milk products for babies. They also provided hot meals twice a day, cooked on board. In excess of 1,000 meals were landed each day.

There was also assistance to reclaim houses, community buildings and areas of importance, as well as digging out cars and clearing roads to allow access to those areas which had been cut off.

Mr Minter said: “We provided ashore over 30,000 bottles of water, 40 tonnes of fresh water in containers, and over 20 tonnes of food, cleaning materials, general stores and medical supplies.”

Meeting residents of the island was especially rewarding for the crew.

He said: “The smiles, thanks and appreciation that we received when we were able to hand back community areas, such as the school and church, more than compensated for the long hours of hard work that we all put in.

“It is an honour to have been able to assist the wonderful group of people we met, and to be able to have made a noticeable difference after such a disaster.

“We wish them all the very best for their continued recovery and for the future.”

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