Instead of sending the largest ship in its fleet to a major international drill in the Baltic Sea, the Royal Dutch Navy has decided to cancel the participation and send HNLMS Karel Doorman to the Caribbean to support hurricane relief efforts.
Karel Doorman was supposed to travel to the German naval base Warnemünde on September 15 to embark German marines and head towards the Baltic Sea and the 17-nation drill Northern Coasts.
However, after Hurricane Irma struck the Dutch overseas territory of Saint Maarten, destroying a third of buildings on the island, the Dutch Navy changed plans for the HNLMS Karel Doorman.
The 204-meter ship is currently en route to the Dutch naval base Den Helder where it will offload equipment needed for the Northern Coats exercise and load supplies and equipment for relief efforts in the Caribbean.
The Dutch defense ministry plans to have the ship ready for departure by September 20. HNLMS Karel Doorman will take two weeks to reach its destination.