My people worked tirelessly throughout the day with determination and flexibility to support the Governor and the people of Anguilla

Captain Stephen Norris RFA, Commanding Officer of Mounts Bay

RFA Mounts Bay's Wildcat helicopter – from 815 Naval Air Squadron based at Yeovilton - also flew Governor Tim Foy on a flight over the island - which is about the size of Plymouth - to survey the damage from the air during seven hours of continuous flying. The reconnaissance flight found widespread damage to infrastructure, schools, government buildings and power supplies.

As a result of the sortie, the island's leaders and ship’s team decided to focus efforts on supporting the police headquarters as the hub of the relief effort, get the hospital on its feet again, and reinforce two shelter stations - particularly important with Hurricane José now heading towards the region.

Mounts Bay's Commanding Officer Captain Stephen Norris RFA said, "My people worked tirelessly throughout the day with determination and flexibility to support the Governor and the people of Anguilla.

"Although Anguilla suffered extensive damage, normal signs of life were returning - some roads open and the local population beginning a recovery and clear-up operation."

RFA Mounts Bay is now making for the British Virgin Islands - 90 miles to the west - to concentrate today's disaster relief efforts. 

As part of a wider military effort, Britain's flagship HMS Ocean has been diverted from her NATO mission in the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to help with the reconstruction effort - as HMS Illustrious did in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines four year ago.

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