UK Navy’s HMS Bulwark rescues more than 400 migrants

14 May 2015 (Last Updated May 14th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy flagship Albion-class assault ship HMS Bulwark has rescued more than 400 migrants after it was alerted to four craft in potential distress approximately 40 miles off the coast of Libya.

HMS Bulwark

The UK Royal Navy flagship Albion-class assault ship HMS Bulwark has rescued more than 400 migrants after it was alerted to four craft in potential distress approximately 40 miles off the coast of Libya.

A landing craft from HMS Bulwark and a Merlin helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron were part of the rescue operation.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence the rescued migrants include a number of pregnant women and children.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Including today's events the Royal Navy will have rescued about 600 people since starting operations at the beginning of the month.

"The ship is providing medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need and will transfer them safely to land as soon as possible."

In April this year, the UK Government decided to send the HMS Bulwark, along with three Merlin MK 2 Helicopters and two civilian border patrol boats, to the Mediterranean Sea to help tackle the refugee crisis.

" Including today's events the Royal Navy will have rescued about 600 people since starting operations at the beginning of the month."

The 19,000t amphibious vessel was deployed after the recent shipwreck of a fishing boat, resulted in the deaths of more than 700 migrant people.

HMS Bulwark commenced its first rescue operation in the first week of this May.

Coordinated through Rome, HMS Bulwark and crew will work closely with the Italian Navy and the coast guard. The vessel is working alongside the surveillance helicopters to offer day-and-night search-and-rescue capabilities.

According to Italian officials, almost 3,600 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean Sea over the last two days, Reuters reported.


Image: HMS Bulwark rescued more than 400 migrants using its landing craft vessel. Photo: courtesy of The UK Ministry of Defence.