West Indian Guard Ship is preparing for possible emergency in the Windward Islands

Hr. Ms. Johan de Witt has shortened its port visit to Puerto Rico and is going to Curacao to prepare to prepare for assistance to the Windward Islands.s

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It is expected that late Monday night or Tuesday as an area with very bad weather will pass at about 20 to 50 miles south of the islands. According to the most recent forecasts, this area is developing into a tropical storm and with possibly to hurricane strength.

Hr. Ms. Johan de Witt will arrive in Curacao on Monday to pick up relief packages. These packages contain tents, medical supplies and various types of tools needed to clean up after a disaster.

The ship is expected to be in the vicinity of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten to provide any assistance.

Any deployment of the Hr.Ms. Johan de Witt and other means of defense (including from Aruba and Marines from Hr. Ms. Pelikaan) takes place after consultation with and upon request of the Governor of St. Maarten and the National Representative of the BES islands. The Naval Commander in the Caribbean is responsible for the coordination in case any assistance is requested.