Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay has evacuated over three dozen people from Crooked Island in the Bahamas following Hurricane Joaquin devastating homes and destroying public services. The 16,000 ton Bay-class auxiliary landing ship dock (LSD(A)) began evacuation operations on Monday assisted by Bahamas local police. Lyme Bay used its landing craft to bring vehicles, personnel and supplies ashore and then evacuate the inhabitants off the island back to the safety of the ship.
The vessel’s embarked Lynx helicopter was also kept busy during the relief operation carrying out search operations over the island as well as evacuating four people with disabilities including an elderly woman in a wheelchair from Landrail Point on the west coast of the island to the local airport where they could then be flown to Nassau. On route to the island the Lynx from No.815 NAS was involved in the search for the container ship El Faro which had been out of contact with the shore for several hours. A US Coastguard aircraft spotted a field of debris on the surface and radioed the Lynx to investigate. Sadly the wreckage was confirmed as belonging to the missing vessel.
Having completed the evacuation of the western side of Crooked Island and provided assistance to local authorities in restoring basic services, RFA Lyme Bay has now left for Acklins Island to assist people there in the ongoing relief operations after Hurricane Joaquin.