St Vincent welcomed from the British Royal Navy 75 tonnes of crucial aid for citizens whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by its erupting volcano.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight offloaded 139 pallets of emergency assistance in St Vincent, where the unexpected and violent eruptions of La Soufrière in April displaced over 16,000.
The mission has added poignancy for the Royal Navy – more than 500 people from St Vincent serve under the White Ensign and have been deeply affected by what has happened in their homeland, prompting various fundraising and relief efforts on ships and in naval bases in the UK.
The eruptions – the first major volcanic activity on the island in 40 years – dumped a thick layer of ash over homes and public buildings. Islanders were forced to seek shelter away from the danger zone in temporary camps, where basic supplies are now in short supply.
Tanker Wave Knight collected an assortment of aid from the people of Barbados and the World Health Organisation from Bridgetown last week.
Sailors and Royal Marines loaded toiletries, sanitary items, cleaning products, tinned food, bottled water and other essential goods before making the 100-mile journey west to St Vincent.