Barbados Coast Guard vessel arrives in Dominica with supplies
BARRY ALLEYNE, IN ROSEAU
THE FIRST OF WHAT is expected to be a number of sailing missions from Barbados has landed in storm-ravaged Dominica.
The Barbados Coast Guard vessel, the HMBS Trident successfully reached the island this morning, bringing with it life-saving supplies, electrical equipment and even personnel who will assist in helping the country restore its electrical and telecommunications capacity.
The Trident, captained by Lieutenant David Harewood and staffed by his 18-person crew, did quick time to reach Dominica early this morning, averaging 15.5 knots through the Caribbean sea on its first mission since Dominica was torn apart by Tropical Storm Erika last Thursday.
The storm killed more than 20 people and left search parties looking for another half dozen who have gone missing, presumed washed away by raging flood waters.
The 123-footer left Barbados just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday. It passed three miles off St Lucia’s southeastern coast just after 11 p.m., before taking a sharp northerly turn up the island’s west coast to the French island of Martinique, en route to Dominica.
From tomorrow, the Tridents’ sister ships, the HMBS Leonard C. Banfield and the HMBS Rudyard Lewis will be making alternating trips to and from Dominica with supplies.
Also on the ship which arrived in Dominica today was a search and rescue team from the Barbados Fire Service, officials from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Two staff members frim ITU arrived in Barbados from Geneva, Switzerland, only Saturday, and are set to meet with Dominica’s Minister of Telecommunications first thing this morning. The Union, an arm of the United Nations, will be providing much needed satellite phones and remote wireless internet connection to assist in the recovery and rescue efforts.