A mock overview of “disaster” conditions took place Monday, 25 July, as officers from the visiting Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship Wave Ruler took local officials on an aerial assessment of Grand Cayman – as would occur following an actual emergency, such as a hurricane.
The Lynx helicopter tour was led by Lt. Commander Garth Atkinson, and included Governor Duncan Taylor, CBE; Hazard Management Cayman Islands Director McCleary Frederick; and Assistant Defence Attaché Steve Freeman, who is based in Jamaica.
During the simulated “windshield survey” the officials travelled the coastline, covering areas which are usually impacted. Following a crisis, such an initial tour would precede a more detailed post-impact assessment. It would also help determine where help, like food and water, is most needed.
“I learned today that we can see most of Grand Cayman’s infrastructure – roads, utilities and facilities – simply by traversing the coastline,” Mr. Frederick said. “We also identified new potential helicopter landing sites.”
Naval officers also met with officials from the Health Services Authority and the Cayman Islands Red Cross to discuss response in the event of a major disaster. In addition, the ship’s company participated in a search and rescue exercise. The RFA vessel Wave Ruler was here on a return visit from Friday until Tuesday and was visiting Cayman Brac on Wednesday to discuss disaster relief with Sister Islands’ District Commissioner Ernie Scott and other officials, and tour the island.