Sailor involved in second hurricane mission

RFA Mounts Bay’s Executive Officer James Wingrove has been involved in a hurricane mercy mission for the second time in two years.

The Chief Officer oversaw delivery of emergency aid to the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian this month, having also been aboard Mounts Bay in 2017 during the relief efforts after Hurricane Irma.

That makes it two category five storms – and two storms described as ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ – in 24 months.

Chief Officer Wingrove, from Langtree in North Devon, was involved in the emergency aid mission in the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Dominica following Irma, which caused widespread destruction and chaos.

Two years on, he was at the forefront of the aid effort on Abaco Islands, where Mounts Bay carried out a ten-day mercy mission, distributing all of her stores, including 3,000 ration packs, nearly 100 tonnes of water, more than 900 emergency shelter kits and 1,000 hygiene kits.

Everyone pulled together and worked through very long days. It was humbling to see just how much people did, with some pushing themselves almost to exhaustion to get aid ashore and help the people who had been affected by the hurricane.

Chief Officer Wingrove

As the Executive Officer on board RFA Mounts Bay, Chief Officer Wingrove is the second in command and his main role is to oversee the running of the ship on behalf of the Commanding Officer.

RFA Mounts Bay was in the Bahamas for ten days, and delivered aid to 7,700 people in nine communities.

Describing the amount of supplies that were given to the people in the affected areas, Chief Officer Wingrove added: “The most intense period was a four-day stretch where we pretty much emptied the ship of stores and supplies.”

RFA Mounts Bay has now been fully re-stocked and is ready to head back out into the Caribbean in case of further natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian.