August 19, 2021 – Royal Navy supply ship RFA Wave Knight is helping to ‘turbo charge’ relief efforts in Haiti after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake.
The ship is acting as a ‘floating petrol station’ for US Army helicopters spearheading the relief effort – ensuring the Black Hawks do not have to return to base to refuel, allowing them to spend much more time concentrating on their rescue and relief mission.
Already positioned in the Caribbean for hurricane season, RFA Wave Knight was able to respond rapidly to Saturday’s devastating earthquake, arriving off the coast of Haiti Tuesday afternoon.
“The tragedy ashore in Haiti shows why we need to be ready for disaster relief operations. I’m proud of the Task Group’s response,” said Commander Brian Trim, Commander of the UK’s Caribbean Task Group.
“We’ve moved fast and today we started work, supporting our partners to deliver aid and save lives on shore. And we’re ready for more challenges ahead, with new tasks in the coming days.”
RFA Wave Knight, whose main role is to deliver fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels, is now providing logistical support to the international humanitarian response in Haiti.
She’s in the region with patrol ship HMS Medway and a specialist disaster relief team plus equipment, to offer aid in the event of a natural disaster; now is the heart of the Caribbean hurricane season, but the task group can assist in the wake of any major act of Nature.
Already this year, Wave Knight has delivered tonnes of aid to the people of St Vincent after their lives were turned upside down by a volcanic eruption.
“Recent events in Haiti are a tragedy, but disasters like this are precisely why we have Royal Navy assets deployed to the Caribbean – to provide vital relief and assistance to people when asked for in times of crisis,” said RFA Wave Knight’s Commanding Officer Captain Simon Herbert RFA.
“My ship’s company are highly trained and we were able to act swiftly and resolutely to ensure RFA Wave Knight arrived ready to assist, by providing the aviation facilities and fuel necessary to enable our partners to provide humanitarian support over a wider area and for a much longer period – effectively turbo charging their relief work.”