Merlin helicopters from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose have began scouring hundreds of square miles of the Central Mediterranean as the Royal Navy’s humanitarian mission moves up a gear.
814 Naval Air Squadron’s Merlin’s are scanning large swathes of the Mediterranean Sea on the lookout for people in peril.
Having completed a 1,000-mile journey across Europe from their West Cornwall base the three Merlins from the “Flying Tigers” are acting as Bulwark’s ‘eyes in the sky’, while the ship co-ordinates the UK mission, together with Italian Navy and Coast Guard.
Operating from Sigonella Naval Air Station near Catania in eastern Sicily, the Merlin Mk2 aircraft will use Bulwark as a ‘lilypad’- a floating service station in the middle of the Mediterranean between the Libyan and Sicilian coastlines.
Image: Royal Navy