PICTURE GALLERY: Royal Navy's aid for hurricane victims
ROYAL Navy pictures show how sailors came to the aid of hurricane victims in the Caribbean.
HMS Ocean has delivered 60 tons of aid including building materials, vehicles and tools, after widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria and members of the 650-strong ship's company have helped in clearing debris.
Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson has visited the Plymouth-based ship to thank the military for their Caribbean relief efforts in the wake of two destructive hurricanes.
The helicopter and amphibious assault craft dropped anchor off the British Virgin Islands on Friday, after steaming across the Atlantic Ocean to join the Task Force operation.
Nick Wood, executive officer of HMS Ocean, said Sir Richard toured the ship on Saturday - taking a look at the engineering spaces, the bridge, the ops room, the hangar and the aid stores - and "had time for a word with everybody".
"He was brilliant, I think he recognises how much the military has done for the islands in particular and what stuck me is how much ownership he feels towards the BVI," he said.
"Today was him coming on board pressing the flesh with all the sailors and just saying thank you - posing for 150 selfies - the ship's company was absolutely made up, he loved it.
"It's been a really really good few days for the ship, it's unfortunate that the circumstances are this, but actually it brings out the very best in the sailors that they have gone ashore and they are absolutely exhausted when they get back.
"They just want to have a few hours' sleep and go again. Richard Branson was a lovely thank you to them."