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Naval vessel Karel Doorman dispatched to the Caribbean by the Dutch Department of Defense for pandemic support.

On Monday, April 13, 2020, the Dutch naval vessel His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman will be dispatched to the Caribbean from Den Helder in Holland. The Ministry of Defense is deploying the vessel to provide instant support to the civil authorities in the coronavirus crisis, should the situation require it. The vessel is initially deployed for a period of three months.

The Karel Doorman can assist with food supplies, border control, and public order.

With the presence of the logistical support vessel Karel Doorman, the islands can, apart from the already available stationed vessel, His Majesty Zeeland, rely on a versatile capacity that can be deployed fast. His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman can offer transport support to guarantee, for instance, the supply of food. In addition, the navy vessel can support the Coast Guard in the maritime border control and it can serve as an operational base during the support of the public order by quickly putting staff and equipment ashore. Finally, the vessel also has medical facilities to support the local healthcare in non-COVID-19 related emergency care.

In recent weeks, the local authorities of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom have submitted various requests for assistance in the prevention of the coronavirus to the Ministry of Defense. At the moment, Defense is already supporting the maritime border control and the enforcement of the public order with local units. With the vicinity of His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman in the area, Defense ensures that additional support is quickly available on location, if so requested.

Karel Dooman is equipped with 2 helicopters that can be used for medical evacuations, surgery capacities, and other support equipment.

His Majesty (Zr. Ms.) Karel Doorman is, apart from its own capacities as a transport and supply vessel, strengthened with 2 Cougar helicopters of the Airforce for medical transport and medical evacuations, a medical team with surgical capacity, a medical team for basic care ashore and drones of the Army and Navy for image composition. Moreover, navy units with vehicles and landing crafts are included for transport. If so required, an additional navy unit can be flown in. The vessel also brings along a hurricane emergency package.

Coordination with other countries in the Caribbean.

France and the United Kingdom also have navy vessels in the area. A coordination cell was set up with these countries on Martinique to be able to cooperate with each other, as required. For instance, the Karel Doorman can provide these vessels with fuel.

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(Source:  RCN)

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Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, a certified bird guide, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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