HMS Enterprise has helped rescue another 700 migrants in an incident off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea, the Ministry of Defence have revealed.
HMS Enterprise was deployed in June last year to rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy, it is now understood she has rescued over 7,700 migrants.
The MoD said:
“By providing humanitarian aid to Syria and Africa, supporting stabilisation in Libya, and tackling the scourge of Daesh (also known as so-called Islamic State), this Government is determined to stop people having to make such a perilous journey.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said while in Cyprus in August:
“In a single year, HMS Enterprise has rescued over 7,000 migrants. I have awarded the entire ship’s crew the Firmin Sword of Peace, given to the unit that has carried out exceptional service beyond the call of duty.”
Before arriving in Cyprus Mr Fallon visited Malta where he held bilateral talks with his counterpart Minister Carmelo Abela, to deepen defence relations. The UK and Malta have strong historical ties, a recent example being the UK providing security for last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
While in Malta Mr Fallon visited the crew of HMS Enterprise in the port of Valletta where it was being replenished.
HMS Enterprise has been deployed in the Mediterranean since June 2015 where it has been providing a vital contribution to Operation Sophia, the EU mission saving thousands of lives in the Mediterranean and breaking the business models of the people smugglers.
Recognising this significant contribution, the Defence Secretary announced that HMS Enterprise’s crew has been selected as the Royal Navy’s recipient of the Firmin Sword of Peace.
The Sword of Peace is an award given to units of the UK Armed Forces who have gone above and beyond their normal role.