UK Navy Sailors Engage in Caribbean Tsunami Relief Drills

British sailors have taken part in a tsunami relief exercise in the Caribbean.

Held on the island of Montserrat, sailors from HMS Severn faced the scenario of a five metre high wave slamming into the island, with the Royal Navy vessel sent in to help.

It was the first time that the Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency had conducted such an exercise which was split into two parts: table top tactics and a live element.

Severn’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Steve Banfield and First Lieutenant (Logistics Officer) Lt Roger Filewod helped local authorities from a planning perspective.

To simulate a response, Severn deployed her Disaster Reconnaissance teams, including the Medical Officer and Leading Medical Assistant with engineering and logistical specialists.

They established a command and control point in the port of Little Bay and carried out local area reconnaissance while reporting the extent of the damage back to the ship and the local government.

Following the exercise the ship hosted Montserrat Fire Brigade to find out how a ship deals with maritime firefighting.

At the same time the ship also hosted the Montserrat Police Force marine unit for navigational training while some of Severn’s engineers visited Montserrat Police patrol vessel, MV Shamrock.

Severn’s Medical Officer, Surgeon Lieutenant Sophie Hawkes and Leading Medical Assistant Chris Turner provided First Aid Training with the Montserrat Red Cross Organisation.

Thirty One Island volunteers attended the training session, and were all presented with a Certificate of Attendance on completion of the joint training.

This is the first time that Portsmouth based HMS Severn, one of three River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels, which normally patrol UK coastal waters, has deployed to the Caribbean.

Image: Royal Navy

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