HMS Daring Approaches The Philippines

The Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring has been called in to help in the areas worst-affected by last week's devastating typhoon.

Portsmouth based Warship HMS Daring has a company of nearly 200 all of whom are trained in humanitarian disaster operations and are preparing for the after effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

As well as casualty search teams and a large number of first aiders, HMS Daring also carries a Royal Navy Chaplain, dentist, doctor, and engineers in a number of specialisations as well as boat and air crews.

Everyone one of them is being prepared for what they might encounter once they make landfall and also of the role they will play in this massive humanitarian relief project.

A 12-strong team of British doctors, surgeons and paramedics landed in the capital Manila yesterday to help treat survivors of the typhoon, the Department for International Development (DFID) said.

Their arrival in the Philippines came as Prime Minister David Cameron announced the Portsmouth aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious is being sent there.

The vessel, which was taking part in exercises in the Gulf, will arrive in the disaster zone to support the humanitarian operation by November 25, replacing Portsmouth destroyer, HMS Daring, which has already been deployed to the Philippines.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has said its charity appeal to help the 11.5 million people affected by the disaster has raised £23 million in two days and the Government has given more than £20 million in aid.

Mr Cameron, who announced the deployment of HMS Illustrious yesterday during a visit to India, said:

``What happened in the Philippines is an absolute tragedy. You can see the devastation, the suffering, and it's quite clear that we are going to need long-term help for those people.

``As ever, the British people have been very generous with their donations.

``The British Government has already pledged over £20 million, which makes us one of the most generous donors anywhere in the world. But it's practical action that's needed as well.

``That's why I sent HMS Daring to go and help in the Philippines and I can announce today that once Daring has started its work, we are actually going to be able to replace in time HMS Daring with HMS Illustrious, which is, of course, a carrier with helicopters - seven times as many helicopters as on HMS Daring and with the key ability to process fresh water, so we will be giving further assistance in the best way we can.''

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