Aid ship arrives in Sierra Leone

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A British ship carrying aid, supplies and vehicles has arrived in Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Argus reached Freetown Port Dockside this afternoon, complete with 32 UK-funded pick-up trucks which will be vital to keeping the hard-pressed Ebola treatment centres in action.

The trucks will be used to transport staff, medicines and equipment around Sierra Leone.

The ship has made the journey from a British naval base in Gibraltar, where it was loaded with its much-needed cargo last week.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has described the RFA Argus mission as a sign of the nation’s “determination to lead the world’s efforts to tackle the Ebola crisis”.

In total, about 800 British military personnel are being deployed to help with the establishment of Ebola treatment centres and an Ebola training academy.

Speaking from Freetown, RFA Argus commanding officer Captain David Eagles said the three Merlin helicopters the ship has carried were a “game changer” in helping to reach remote areas in Sierra Leone.

He told Sky News: “To be able to fly equipment and experts right into the heart of the areas it is needed will be a fundamental change in the way we do business.

“It will give the effort ashore much greater agility and velocity to deliver the mission.

“Argus is just one element of the UK’s military commitment to Sierra Leone in support of the broader mission led by DfID (the Department for International Development). We’re just doing our best to contribute to that.

“For the people on-board the ship, it is just simply a case of rolling up their sleeves and getting in and contributing as best we can, and our people are very much looking forward to that.

“We’ve had all our briefings and we’re prepared and ready to go and very much see it as a challenge.”

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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