HMS Enterprise has contributed to a major rescue of 453 migrants in the Mediterranean. The vessel identified four small vessels and safely brought aboard the occupants. The people rescued were later transferred to the German frigate Schleswig Holstein and taken to the southern Italian port of Taranto. HMS Enterprise began operating in the area at the start of July when she replaced HMS Bulwark.

Several other European ships are involved in rescue operations off the coast of Libya where around 4,400 people have so far been saved.

HMS Enterprise, the tenth ship to bear this name, is a multi-role survey vessel of the Echo class. The vessel is normally tasked with conducting survey work in support of submarine and amphibious operations, however the class is also able to perform a mine countermeasures role.

Minister for the Armed Forces Penny Mordaunt said:

“Britain continues to play a vital role in the Mediterranean and I want to thank HMS Enterprise for this latest life-saving mission.

We remain clear however that the best and only way to tackle the migrant crisis in Europe is to go after the source of the problem. The international community must do all it can to go after the criminal gangs and people smugglers who trade so carelessly with the lives of others. It is vital that HMS Enterprise continues with her picture building role so that we can better understand what is needed of this evolving mission.”

Commanding Officer of HMS Enterprise, Commander Mark Vartan said:

“I am extremely proud of the professional manner in which my team responded to this rescue. HMS Enterprise together with the other European Union Naval Force partners are committed to addressing the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean including the provision of life saving capability when it is necessary.”

The Royal Navy said the ship was sailing on intelligence-gathering missions nearer the Libyan coast in order to help build a picture of the situation.

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