Royal Navy’s HMS Enterprise has provided further assistance to Italian-led EU rescue operations in the Mediterranean on Saturday, September 19, in a mission that saved the lives of 377 migrants.
Working as part of a wider EU mission to detect and disrupt people smuggling gangs, HMS Enterprise was tasked to rescue 377 migrants whose lives were at risk. A number of other European ships were also involved in the rescue which saw more than 4000 migrants saved from multiple vessels in at least 20 rescue operations.
The news comes following an announcement earlier this week that the UK is to offer HMS Richmond to support the boarding and seizing of vessels in the southern Mediterranean belonging to the criminal gangs responsible for the crisis. The ship will also stand ready to assist with search and rescue operations.
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. HMS Enterprise is well equipped for that task, as is the frigate HMS Richmond, which we have also now offered to the mission.
HMS Bulwark and Royal Navy Merlin helicopters have also played a key part in the rescue mission earlier this summer which saw thousands of people rescued from small boats operated by the gangs between North Africa and Europe. The EU mission is part of a wider comprehensive approach to tackling the migration crisis at the source countries in the region.
Image: Royal Navy