IRON DUKE SAILORS ASHORE ON GRAND TURK
Royal Navy Warship, HMS Iron Duke has now landed a mobile command team ashore in the hurricane-devastated island of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands.
An eight man team headed by the Executive Officer and a medical Officer have begun setting up a field headquarters with which to coordinate the relief efforts and act a communications link between the shore party and Iron Duke.
HMS Iron Duke?s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Dean Bassett said ?We landed as soon as it was safe this morning, along with a small highly trained core team to firstly establish communications with the local government, as most of the electricity to the islands is down and secondly to show the islanders that we were here to help.?
He went on to explain some of the damage he had witnessed: ?Ike has hit the island of Grand Turk very hard. Amenities have been the most affected, with most areas without running water or food and all areas without electricity.?
He continued: ?Now we have a clearer picture of the overall situation provided by our Lynx helicopter’s aerial photo?s we can begin the task of integrating within the local government and seeing what we can do to assist, in these situations it is key that our presence here is not misconstrued. We are here to assist in roles as set out by the local government, however our main aim is to save lives and get these islands back on their feet – one such task we are undertaking is rebuilding the roof on the local hospital to make it habitable again.?