A Marine Reservist from Spalding is currently helping deliver much-needed aid to the victims of the Philippines’ typhoon.
Patrick Hoey, from Nottingham Royal Marines Reserve Unit, is serving on the Royal Navy amphibious helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious.
Patrick is serving with J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines who deployed in August in RFA Mounts Bay for Cougar 13, the autumn deployment of the UK’s high readiness maritime Response Force Task Group.
Since then, Patrick has been involved in a series of exercises before being transferred to HMS Illustrious in Oman.
HMS Illustrious collected 500 tons of emergency aid relief stores in Singapore. Patrick said: “A lot of the stores had to be lifted onboard manually. We formed a big line and kept going until we had finished.
“It was a back breaking job but I can’t overstate how motivated the men were”
HMS Illustrious arrived in the Philippines on November 25 and immediately started the hard work of assessing the areas of most need and then distributing the aid.
Patrick went ashore to Sicogon, Calagnaan and Binuluangnan Islands just off the north east coast of the central Philippine island of Panay.
He said: “The people in these more remote islands had very little to start with. Now many of them have nothing or have lost loved ones.
“Some of them were in a desperate state, but they remained amazingly optimistic despite their circumstances.
“I hope we’ve been able to send them well on their way to recovery. There is real hope here now. It is quite an incredible thing to have been a part of.”
Patrick still hopes to be home for Christmas.
He said: “Clearly, we’ll stay here as long as we are needed, but we are already seeing longer term aid arriving in these more remote areas. “