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Lynx Helicopter Tour

Published 16th July 2015, 4:3pm

HMCI Preparedness Officer Mikana Scott and Red Cross Disaster Manager Denise Miller flew over Grand Cayman on Wednesday, July 15th in a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter. The helicopter is on board the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessel, the ‘Lyme Bay’ which is currently visiting the Cayman Islands.

The British Navy Ship has been tasked with providing disaster relief assistance and humanitarian aid to the Caribbean region, if needed, as well as conducting other tasks such as regional counter narcotics operations. The vessel is a Bay-class auxiliary landing ship dock; the Bay Class are amphibious landing ships which can reportedly offload equipment and troops in rougher weather than previous ships, and in half the time.

In the aftermath of a disaster such as a hurricane impact the Royal Navy may offer the helicopter for reconnaissance and assessment. The flight was therefore an opportunity to test procedures and look for potential landing sites. The Lynx helicopter can also transport a certain amount of water and supplies, and can deploy personnel and provide airlift capacity if needed.

Following an impact, the initial survey flight generally follows the contours of the coastline, but critical inland facilities are also examined. The survey provides a broad view of the extent of the damage, and helps to determine where to deploy first responders and emergency supplies of things like food and water. This initial assessment is followed by a more detailed post impact assessment which is carried out by teams of trained personnel on the ground.

While in Grand Cayman, the ship’s disaster relief teams will exercise their contingency plans, survey potential landing sites and review transport routes in the event the ship would have to dispatch supplies and equipment in the event of a disaster. Captain Minter, who is taking over command of the RFA Lyme Bay, met with HMCI Director, McCleary Frederick on July 16th.