HMS Echo was invited to join ships and aircraft from half a dozen nations off Cyprus for two days of combined training.

Previously, the vessel has been assigned to the international force dealing with migrants in the central Mediterranean for the past 18 months.

Just a few weeks ago, Echo took part in an Anglo-Cypriot exercise testing their joint ability to deal with a ship sinking off the island say the Royal Navy.

“The question posed by Cypriot authorities running the larger Exercise Argonaut took training up a few notches: could the island’s emergency services and rescue/military services of its friends and allies in the eastern Med cope with two major search and rescue operations at sea?

The first disaster: an airliner crashed in the waters around Cyprus at night – not an unusual scenario for the Plymouth-based survey ship which was involved in the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner MH370 four years ago.

This time around Echo played a lead role in searching her designated area through the hours of darkness to look for survivors.”

“In addition to being great fun, the exercise provided good training for the ship’s company and highlights the UK’s commitment to multi-national operations in Europe and the Mediterranean,” said Cdr Andrew Norgate, Echo’s Commanding Officer.

“Our participation in Exercise Argonaut reflects the UK and Royal Navy’s commitment to the close relationship we enjoy with the Republic of Cyprus.”

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