With hurricanes sweeping across the Caribbean RFA Mounts Bay continues her lengthy deployment to the area, which has seen the amphibious ship adopted by Falmouth, carrying out sterling work in the region.

Mounts Bay is currently in “hurricane alley” as the British dependencies in the West Indies, in the path of hurricane Irma are bracing themselves as high winds and heavy rainfall batter many of the islands

Depending on where Mounts Bay is located, it is equipped to respond to an order for assistance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office within 12 to 48 hours.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary can provide humanitarian relief and aid to any island hit by natural disasters.

On a visit to Montserrat recently the ship’s Wildcat helicopter piloted by Lt Amy Gilmore took Governor Elizabeth Carriere and some of her officials up for an inspection of the island, then did the same with local police, who guided the helicopter to suspected drug hotspots.

Half the island was abandoned back in 1997 when the volcano erupted, mud and lava swallowed much of the Montserrat capital Plymouth and the Royal Navy was instrumental in helping to evacuate many islanders.

Naval aviators revisited the site of the natural disaster to see how they might help should Soufrière Hills erupt again.

Their reconnaissance mission over the potato-shaped British Overseas Territory, - just ten miles long and six across - also found nine suspected illegal drugs plantations in Montserrat's forbidden zone.

It's the second important blow the Wildcat has helped deliver in the fight against trafficking in the Caribbean; last month the helicopter located nearly 20 illegal drugs farms in the British Virgin Islands.