UK Navy’s HMS Enterprise saves 377 migrants in latest rescue operation

20 September 2015 (Last Updated September 20th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy's multi-role survey vessel HMS Enterprise has rescued 377 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea as part of Italian-led EU rescue operations.

HMS Enterprise

The UK Royal Navy's multi-role survey vessel HMS Enterprise has rescued 377 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea as part of Italian-led EU rescue operations.

The latest rescue operation, which saw more than 4,000 migrants saved, also involved several other European ships.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Once again, our Royal Navy has rescued a large number of migrants from the Mediterranean.

"Our focus remains on smashing the criminal smuggling gangs who are putting innocent lives at risk."

In August, HMS Enterprise rescued 453 people from the Mediterranean Sea as part of a rescue operation that occurred off the coast of Libya.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) deployed HMS Enterprise to help tackle the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean in June this year.

The vessel is capable of accommodating a crew of between 60 and 70, and also has the capacity to house 120 people during operations.

In addition, the UK deployed three Merlin MK 2 helicopters and two civilian border patrol boats for the mission.

In addition, the Royal Navy has decided to deploy its frigate HMS Richmond to tackle people smuggling in the Mediterranean.

"Our focus remains on smashing the criminal smuggling gangs who are putting innocent lives at risk."

The warship will join HMS Enterprise to support the boarding and seizing of vessels in the southern Mediterranean belonging to the criminal gangs.

Fallon said: "The Royal Navy has rescued thousands of people from peril but we've been clear we have to tackle the gangs behind this, which is why it's important the mission moves to the next phase.

"We will not stand by and let this smuggling trade escalate; we will confront this criminal activity which risks the lives of innocent people every day."

According to the UK MoD, the HMS Richmond would also be able to support search and rescue operations along with HMS Enterprise.


Image: HMS Enterprise offered further life-saving assistance to Italian-led EU rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: © Crown copyright.