Largest naval vessel bringing relief supplies to Caribbean

The Joint Logistic Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman has departed for the Caribbean from the naval port of Den Helder. It is carrying relief supplies for St Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius, which suffered heavy damage during Hurricane Irma. The ship will reach the islands in about a fortnight.

From large equipment to small necessities

The vessel is carrying an assorted cargo: school furniture and 3 pavilion tents for 36 classes, 10 mobile phone masts, 18 police cars, 12 tipper trucks, 8 water tank trucks, 2 mobile command units, and groceries and toilet paper, as well as bulldozers, diggers and other heavy equipment to clean up the rubble.

The cargo list was compiled by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in consultation with other ministries, with a view to starting reconstruction on the islands. The ship is also carrying goods collected by ad hoc citizen initiatives.

The Karel Doorman docked at Den Helder on Friday after being called back from an international military exercise in the Baltic. Since then, Navy crane operators have been working hard to load relief supplies for St Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius.

The Karel Doorman, measuring 205m from bow to stern and 30m wide, is the Dutch Navy’s largest vessel. It left Den Helder at around 13.30 on Wednesday 20 September.