Following on from our story yesterday about the aid effort in the Philippines, Able Seaman David Corney, 24, from East Cowes, is currently deployed to South East Asia onboard HMS Illustrious as he assists with the international relief effort following Typhoon Haiyan.
David’s primary role in the Seamanship Department is to act as the Navigating Officer’s Yeoman. He is responsible for the upkeep of the Ship’s navigation material; ensuring that charts and publications are correct, so that the Illustrious can navigate safely. David explained:
“In addition to my role as the Navigator’s Yeoman, I also get to drive an aircraft carrier and am a trained seaboat coxswain.”
David joined the Royal Navy out of a desire to see the world and has already visited Norway, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. HMS Illustrious had been conducted counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa when she was tasked by to make best speed for the Philippines.
Given David’s role as seaboat coxswain, he will likely play a major role in HMS Illustrious’ effort to relieve suffering and provide humanitarian support to the people of the Philippines, transporting personnel and supplies from the ship to the shore so that support can get to areas where it is desperately needed.
“The entire Ship’s Company has been shocked by the images of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. We undergo rigorous training in how to conduct humanitarian and disaster relief operations and are ready, willing and eager to help. I want to help make a difference and, although I will miss my family, being away from home at Christmas is a small price to pay to achieve something so worthwhile.”
David’s parents Richard and Lyn live in East Cowes. He has an older sister, Sarah. His family are incredibly proud of his service and he cannot wait to be reunited with them on his return from the current deployment.
HMS Illustrious is currently part of Operation Patwin; the Government’s action to support the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. Prime Minister David Cameron has despatched HMS Illustrious to the region, where her Sea King, Lynx and Merlin helicopters will be able to move people and aid around the country until infrastructure can be repaired. She will relieve destroyer HMS Daring in the aid effort.
The carrier will also be able to provide humanitarian relief, including supplies of fresh food and water as well, medical support and engineering assistance.