Members of the humanitarian and disaster relief crew of RFA Mounts Bay and the RN helicopter paid a brief flying visit to the Virgin Islands on Monday May 27.

Two public officers joined a team from the RFA ship Mounts Bay aboard a Royal Navy helicopter last Monday morning to examine landing sites and other critical areas around the territory as part of preparations for hurricane season, which started on Saturday, government announced.

Melanie Daway of the Department of Disaster Management and Ludence Turnbull of the Public Works Department took part in the flyover, which included Tortola and the sister islands.

During the visit, Mounts Bay crew members also met with government personnel in agencies including the DDM, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the VI Fire and Rescue Service and the BVI Health Services Authority to better understand how the RFA can support the territory in responding to any major disaster should the need arise.

The ship has been deployed to the region since 2017, when she provided support to the UK overseas territories and Dominica after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The UK maintains a year-round naval presence in the Caribbean, and the Mounts Bay is currently embarking on her hurricane season patrol, supported by the Royal Navy helicopter, crew from 815 Naval Air Squadron and 24 Commando Royal Engineers, according to government.

The ship’s primary task is to provide enhanced security and reassurance to the OTs and their citizens, including disaster relief when needed. She will also take part in counter-narcotic operations later in the year, according to government.

Mounts Bay’s cargo includes tractors, diggers, trucks, quad bikes, all-terrain vehicles and disaster relief stores.