HMS Daring loads up with vital supplies

IMPORTANT MISSION Getting ready to go inside HMS Daring's Lynx helicopter. Picture: L(Phot) Keith Morgan
IMPORTANT MISSION Getting ready to go inside HMS Daring's Lynx helicopter. Picture: L(Phot) Keith Morgan
A Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been training with HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of her Rotary Wing Trials

Helicopter puts flight deck crew through its paces

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A PORTSMOUTH-BASED warship sent to provide help to victims of Typhoon Haiyan has loaded up with extra supplies at a Philippines port.

HMS Daring has called in at Cebu port to load up with aid before it will head out to help islanders affected by one of the most destructive storms to ever hit land.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 7 and, according to national figures, has killed at least 3,633 people, with a further 1,179 people still missing.

The Type 45 destroyer has been assessing the 32,200 nautical mile-area with its Lynx helicopter for the last three days and has identified the areas most in need of aid.

Aerial imagery taken from the helicopter has shown that Bantayan Island, Binuluangan Island, Gigante Islands, Pande Azucar Estancia on Panay, and Concepcion Island have all been devastated by the storm.

The crew was shocked by the images that came back, which included one that showed the word ‘Help’ spelt out in palm leaves on the beach.

Commanding Officer of HMS Daring, Commander Angus Essenhigh, said: ‘We were all shocked and are unanimous that these people are very much in need some of the stores and equipment I now have on board.’

‘Many of the areas we surveyed had not been heard from since the storm struck and it was vital that we carried out a clear assessment of exactly where this aid was needed most.’

The ship is expected to arrive today when it will begin to help islanders.

It will distribute 500 food baskets, which can feed a family of four for a week, 500 family shelter kits, 500 hygiene kits, 1,500 four-litre water carriers and 400 five-litre water carriers, supplied by the Department for International Aid and Development.

A team of 14 medics will also embark and all 200 HMS Daring personnel are trained in humanitarian aid and disaster relief.