March 21, 2020 (Google Translation) – The amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) Tonnerre of the French Navy stands ready to leave its port-base of Toulon for Ajaccio, in order to evacuate patients affected by Covid-19 to hospitals in the Provence-Alpes region- French Riviera (PACA).
PHA Tonnerre and its 200 sailors are preparing to intervene in the framework of the coronavirus crisis to support the civil health capacities of Corsica. For this mission, the building will embark on mixed civil-military reinforcements belonging to the Armed Forces Health Service (doctors and nurses from the SSA) and civilian teams made up of emergency doctors, resuscitators, laboratory technicians, nursing assistants and the Marseille regional health office.
Le Tonnerre will also make available its medical capacities which will have been adapted to transport confined patients. The total capacity of patients on board in this configuration is around fifteen.
The French Navy, expert in the conduct of evacuation and assistance operations for populations in distress
The sailors of Tonnerre are experienced in this type of mission. They were already employed there in 2017 in the Antilles to rescue the populations of the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, affected by Hurricane Irma. In 2019, the building was diverted from the 2019 Joan of Arc mission to rescue the people of Mozambique who were victims of Cyclone Idai.