Royal Navy support ship RFA Argus launches helicopter sorties to support disaster relief effort in Honduras
Helicopter sorties from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship have started to provide aid and reconnaissance to storm-ravaged Honduras in the wake of hurricanes Eta and Iota.
The relief missions are being launched from RFA Argus, which was stationed off the north east coast of the Central American nation earlier this month.
The support ship is launching US army Chinooks to drop aid supplies ashore, while the Royal Navy is deploying three Merlin helicopters and a Wildcat to fly information-gathering sorties over devastated areas.
Pilots and aircrew from 845 and 815 Naval Air Squadrons are conducting the reconnaissance flights.
Commander Kate Muir, in command of the UK Task Group in the Caribbean, which includes RFA Argus, said: ‘RFA Argus and embarked Royal Navy personnel are supporting US helicopters and conducting aerial surveys of hurricane damage.
‘This allows prioritisation of emergency relief stores to the areas that need it most, usually remote areas that have been cut off by flooding and landslides.
‘The information we are providing is proving essential to relief operations, and they are critical to responding quickly to help the people of Honduras.’
The UK Task Group in the Caribbean, which includes Portsmouth-based HMS Medway, has been at the centre of the Royal Navy’s efforts to provide support throughout the hurricane season as well as carrying out counter-narcotics operations.