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Royal Navy ship HMS Sprey arrived into Tonga today (Wednesday 26 January) where her crew have unloaded disaster relief following the devastating Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai underwater volcanic eruption and tsunami.    

The Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) delivered UK Aid stores comprising:

  • 30,000 litres of bottled water
  • Medical supplies for over 300 first aid kits
  • PPE 
  • Basic sanitation and baby products.

The ship arrived into Nuku’alofa, the capital city of Tonga on the island of Tongatapu. The aid stores are being collected at a logistics hub as part of international aid efforts. The supplies are then coordinated and will be moved to islands near to the volcano that were severely impacted by the disaster.

Tonga’s protective COVID regulations means that sailors could not disembark the ship so all stores were moved using HMS Spey’s crane. The packaging and moving the deliveries by crane, supported by the whole ship’s company

Responding to humanitarian crises across the globe is a core part our of Armed Forces’ daily business. The crew and company of HMS Spey have demonstrated that this week by delivering this vital aid. The UK is a long-standing partner of the Pacific Islands and having the ship deployed in the Indo-Pacific meant that we could be there for Tonga in their hour of need, as the Island begins to rebuild their homes and communities.

Minster for the Armed Forces James Heappey

Nuku’alofa is away from the worst damage however there are still visible signs of ash and debris coating the rooftops and trees along the shore. New Zealand’s ship HMNZS Aotearoa and Australian shipHMAS Adelaide, carrying vital UK Aid supplies requested by the Tongan government, have arrived off the coast of Tonga and are preparing to disembark their supplies.

I am immensely proud of my Ship’s Company. Their flexibility, hard work and speed of reaction in assisting our Commonwealth Friends in Tonga demonstrate the epitome of a modern, global Royal Navy, ready to respond at a moment’s notice. We wish the people of Tonga the very best in their recovery from this terrible disaster and stand ready to assist in any way we can

Commanding Officer of HMS Spey, Commander Michael Proudman

HMS Spey has returned to sea but remains on task in the waters Tonga, ready to help where needed in coming days.

Many Thanks to forces photographer LT J Howell RN  © Crown copyright 2022

For video news from the British Armed Forces: https://www.youtube.com/britisharmedforcesdaily

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