Cayman Sends Helicopter to Support Bahamas
Published 6th September 2019, 9:49am
The RCIPS helicopter has deployed to The Bahamas to support the relief effort following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.
The request from the Bahamian authorities was received on Wednesday 5th September and approval for the helicopter to make the trip received from His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper and the Honourable Premier Alden McLaughlin later that same day.
The aircraft has deployed with two crew (two pilots and four Technical Flight Officers) and it is anticipated they will be supporting the rescue operation performing evacuation flights and aerial surveillance.
The H145 Airbus helicopter was purchased as part of a joint deal with the UK to boost Cayman’s capability to carry out search and rescue, law enforcement and border protection operations but also to assist our fellow territories and other parts of the region during times of crisis.
It can be configured in various ways to take up to five passengers and three crew or two patients on stretchers or up to 500kg of cargo.
Since its arrival in March 2019 it has airlifted 18 patients from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman so is well versed in medical evacuations.
The Governor said: “To help and support neighbouring nations in their time of need was one of the key reasons the UK sought to support the Cayman Islands in acquiring a new helicopter. Sadly we are having to deploy it much sooner than any of us would have hoped but it is built for this very purpose and the pilots and crew are well-versed with dealing with patients and flying over an island-based terrain.
The Premier Alden McLaughlin added: “As Caribbean nations we must stand together to support each other in these times of need. The Cayman Islands will do our part to support The Bahamas starting with the deployment of the RCIPS helicopter and trained personnel at this time when they most need it.
“The Government will provide other assistance as requested by the Bahamian Government. We remember all too clearly the effects of this kind of devastating storm and the tangible difference an aircraft and crew can make.“
If you want to make a contribution to the Disaster Relief fund please refer to the Cayman Islands Red Cross Facebook page.