HMS Echo has been assigned to the Mediterranean since the end of 2016; her crew have rescued more than 6,100 men, women and children as part of the mercy element of the migrant mission, and destroyed 65 dangerous rubber boats and skiffs.

According to a release, Cypriot authorities were keen to see how they might respond to a sinking ship off their southern coastline and three casualties (aka dummies) in the water.

“The Cypriot Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre provided a patrol ship, Tomakis, a rescue helicopter and nurses, while Echo co-ordinated the efforts at sea, lapping up the rare opportunity to work with air power (the survey vessel has no helicopter, or even a flight deck, just a small area for winching people on and off).”

“It was great fun for us to be carrying out an aviation serial for exercise as opposed to the real life scenario executed not five weeks before,” said marine engineer officer Lt Dan Sercombe.

The Royal Navy say that Echo took charge of the surface search to find the dummies in the water; all three were found – good weather aided the hunt, but it still demanded some eagle eyes on the bridge wings – and winched up to the Cypriot helicopter so they could be flown ashore for treatment.

“Working with the Cypriot authorities is important for all the UK’s assets in the Mediterranean,” said Echo’s operations officer Lt Cdr Tom Becker.

“Given the high number of migrants still trying to cross into Europe, understanding one another’s rescue systems ensures we can operate in the joint environment more efficiently and share experiences.”


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Dicey times around Cyprus at the moment. The Cyps with Egypt and Israel are searching for oil. The Turks have taken offence and the other week sent in a small naval contingent to scare off an American Drilling rig from Cyp waters off the coast of southern Cyprus. Now they have revealed they are going to send in their own drilling rig.

Mike Saul

I am going to Cyprus in couple weeks time, last time I was there plenty of IDF assets deployed on the island.

Lots of off shore drilling in progress, the Turks need to watch there step someone might tread on their toes.


I was posted there during the 90s loved it.

Mike Saul

Posted there as an 18 year old soldier in 75. Love the place and the people, usually go there a couple of times a year.

Plus they drive on the proper side of the road, most speak some english and have 3 pin plugs, what’s not to like


Did two UN tours in the 60s not so good then so much hate all over.


Another wee boat with no guns. The UK navy is pretty pathetic,

Daniele Mandelli



Peder-believe it or not, you generally do not need guns to rescue refugees. Strange I know, but true!!

Malcolm Davies, ex RN

The clue is the name,HMS ECHO, oceanographic survey ship, The Admiralty has for generations supplied the world with charts that the royal naval survey vessels have with their highly trained cartographers have and experience produced these charts, sextant echo sounders slide rules and pencils with the odd computer thrown in is the only weapons that they need, And a good crew.


Thanks for that Malcolm. And for the record Peder she is armed with 2 Oerlikons, 3 mini guns and 4 GP machine guns but as Malcolm rightly points out her primary role is not waging War!!