UK Navy’s HMS Bulwark rescues more than 1,000 migrants

7 June 2015 (Last Updated June 7th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark has conducted five migrant rescue missions, rescuing more than 1,000 from the Mediterranean Sea.

HMS Bulwark

The UK Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark has conducted five migrant rescue missions, rescuing more than 1,000 from the Mediterranean Sea.

The rescued migrants, including at least ten pregnant women, were part of a group of more than 3,000 people who left Libya to cross the Mediterranean.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "HMS Bulwark continues to play a vital role saving lives at sea and I want to thank them for their unwavering efforts.

"However, we cannot simply deal with the symptoms of this problem; we must go after the route cause and the trafficking gangs behind it who are making money out of human misery."

"The rescued migrants, including at least ten pregnant women, were part of a group of more than 3,000 people who left Libya to cross the Mediterranean."

For this search and rescue mission, HMS Bulwark used all eight landing crafts. Three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters were also deployed for the mission.

According to the Italian coastguard, Swedish, Spanish and Italian ships and a merchant vessel were also part of the mission, rescuing 2,400 people from 15 different boats, Reuters reported.

With this operation, the total number of people saved by HMS Bulwark comes to more than 2,700. Earlier in June, HMS Bulwark rescued approximately 370 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea.

The 19,000t amphibious vessel was deployed for migrant rescue operations after a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea resulted in the deaths of more than 700 migrants.

Co-ordinated through Rome, HMS Bulwark and the crew will work closely with the Italian Navy and the coastguard.


Image: Migrants arrive on HMS Bulwark after being rescued by the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean. Photo: courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence / Crown copyright.