Navy ship to pick up disaster relief supplies

| 13/08/2010

(CNS): A Royal Navy ship is arriving in Grand Cayman on Monday to pick up 2,000 shelter kits from the local disaster relief supplies in order to maximise its ability to respond quickly and when most needed, should any overseas territory be struck by a hurricane, the Governor’s Office has announced. Scheduled to visit between the 16 and 18 August, the RFA Wave Ruler will load some of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) supplied disaster relief stores from the Cayman Islands’ Red Cross managed warehouse. These stores consist of shelter kits for up to 2,000 families; another 4,000 kits will remain on Grand Cayman.

The RFA Wave Ruler, which last visited the Cayman Islands to help the Brac after Hurricane Paloma in 2008, is currently on duty as part of the Royal Navy’s Atlantic Patrol Task (North). Her primary role is to provide support to the British overseas territories in order to reinforce the UK Government’s commitment to the region. This role includes providing assistance in the event of a natural disaster and the kits that the navy is picking up will add to the equipment already carried on board.

Whilst at sea, the Wave Ruler conducts maritime patrols, working with various agencies and nations, particularly aimed at countering drug trafficking in the Caribbean region.

While she is docked in Grand Cayman the commanding officer, Captain N A Budd, will host a VIP luncheon onboard for the governor and Cabinet members.

In the release from the governor’s Office, Captain Budd was quoted as saying, “Our visit will reinforce our excellent long-standing relations with the people of Grand Cayman and will serve to further enhance our disaster relief capability. Wave Ruler is in the Caribbean specifically to support UK Overseas Territories. We are well placed to provide first aid humanitarian and technical assistance, with an extensive range of disaster relief stores and on-board logistics capable of providing food, water and shelter, utilising well trained personnel should this be required,”

RFA Wave Ruler isa Fast Fleet Tanker and was built in Govan, Glasgow, entering service in 2002. She has a displacement of 31500 tonnes, and is 196.5 metres long with a beam of 30.4 metres, a draught of 10 metres and capable of speeds up to 21 knots. She is a modern double hulled tanker and able to operate in all climates including icy waters The vessel can issue 16000 cubic metres of diesel and aviation fuel and has a flight deck & hangar to support helicopter operations.

The ship has a crew of 80 British Royal Fleet Auxiliary seafarers, with accommodation for additional 22 Royal Navy personnel when carrying a helicopter.

In recent years, RFA Wave Ruler has seized approximately 11 tonnes of drugs during counter narcotic boarding operations in the Caribbean area and has conducted a number of high-profile disaster relief operations.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a flotilla of 16 replenishment and logistic ships with just over 2000 personnel, operating worldwide in support of the British Armed Services, primarily the Royal Navy.


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  1. David says:

    Although manned by civilian government employees (civil servants) the RFA vessels are an integral and essential part of Royal Navy capability.  The maritime legislation that applies to RFA’s and their crews when operational takes into account their military duties and requirements for self defence that would normally be outside British merchant marine rules. 

    The officers and ratings of RFA’s are very well trained and extremely professional in all aspects of the specialised roles these vessels are expected to carry out.  The overall control of all RFA’s is by CinC Fleet. (Senior Officer of the Royal Navy) .

    I hope this explains the RFA somewhat more clearly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just a suggestion. Remember the Ivan Hurricane, well just after there was so many forming construction companys who did not have a clue in building. That is not good as we need strongly constructed buildings. We hope that Government look seriously into this, as there are some folks out here just wishing for another disaster so that they can have work.

  3. francis childs says:

    RFA stands for royal fleet auxiliary, RN stands for royal navy, RFA ships are manned by civilians, not military, so in future if a HMS ship comes to your island then she will be manned by the RN, (and will probally cause a load of drunken trouble) but if a RFA ship comes to your island then she will be manned by civilians NOT royal navy.