The HMBS Trident returned to Barbados this morning after a week-long tour of duty in Dominica.
The flagship vessel of the Barbados Coast guard conducted rescue operations on the island following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on August 27.
“This first mission that we were on has been hard on the crew, also the extent of the mission itself, especially Petite Savanne, was the hardest part for us,” Captain Lieutenant David Harewood told Barbados TODAY.
“The reason being, trying to rescue those persons that we helped to evacuate from that part of the island where the sea was rolling, and also having so much debris in the water, made it a difficult task.”
Lt Harewood and his crew got to work as soon as they docked at the Woodbridge Bay Port just outside of Roseau on Monday morning, heading off to the storm-ravaged south eastern community of Petite Savanne to evacuate 200 residents.
They were joined on the near three-hour operation by fire officers from Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.
Lt Harewood described the overall mission this week as “very successful”.
“We came here to first get people on the ground and get stores here, that was successful; and two, to lend all the assistance necessary to the Commonwealth of Dominica in helping with whatever they needed at that time. And that we did.”
A second Coast Guard vessel, the Leonard C. Banfield, also travelled to Dominica this week to transport much needed supplies and personnel from neighbouring Antigua and St Kitts to assist with relief efforts.
Nine communities have been declared special disaster areas as Dominica continues to clean up after the storm, which has so far claimed more than 30 lives and left an estimated $612 million in infrastructural damage. (MCW)