ROYAL Marines are part of a team being deployed by the Royal Navy to help in the wake of the most powerful Atlantic storm ever recorded, which has devastated islands in the Caribbean.
RFA Mounts Bay has been deployed to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma as the storm continues towards the east coast of America.
Vicious winds of up to 185mph have levelled communities, ripping off roofs, destroying harbours and claiming at least 10 lives so far.
RFA Mounts Bay is part of the UK’s response to the on-going natural disaster, with a further £12m having already been made available by the government to support relief work.
Development Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘The thoughts of the British people are with all those affected by Hurricane Irma and Britain has already taken swift action to respond.
‘We have deployed three UK aid humanitarian experts to the region to help co-ordinate the response, and positioned a British naval ship with 40 Royal Marines, Army Engineers, and vehicles, tents and facilities to purify water on board.’
The category five storm has caused devastation in the Caribbean, and Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said the UK was doing its ‘utmost’ to bring urgent assistance.
It hit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
The storm is set to hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti today before moving on to Florida, and the coastal city of Miami, at the weekend.
The foreign office has already advised British tourists in the Sunshine State to follow local safety advice.
A state of emergency has already been declared in Florida.
For the foreign office advice on what to do if in the path of hurricane Irma, click here.