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Royal Navy ship rescues refugees in the Mediterranean

By Ruth Halkon

Published 08/05/2015

HMS Bulwark, the Navy's flagship Dave Griffiths/MoD Crown/PA Wire.
HMS Bulwark, the Navy's flagship Dave Griffiths/MoD Crown/PA Wire.

The Royal Navy's flagship has rescued more than 100 refugees adrift in the Mediterranean - its first mission since being deployed in the region.

HMS Bulwark was despatched to the Mediterranean on Monday as part of David Cameron's promise to help tackle the migrant crisis, which has cost the lives of nearly 1,800 people this year.

The 19,000-tonne assault ship picked up 110 migrants yesterday after inspecting a suspicious rubber boat.

With the help of the Italian coastguard, the migrants were taken to land.

A MoD spokesman said: "The individuals were rescued using Bulwark's landing craft before being transferred on to the Italian coastguard's vessel and taken to land. Everyone was transferred safely and HMS Bulwark remains on task."

The Prime Minister pledged the ship on April 23 ahead of an emergency EU summit to discuss how European countries could co-operate to prevent the deaths of thousands of migrants this summer.

Mr Cameron said: "Saving lives means rescuing these poor people, but it also means smashing the gangs and stabilising the region.

"Now Britain, as ever, will help. We'll use our aid budget to help stabilise neighbouring countries. And as the country in Europe with the biggest defence budget, we can make a real contribution."

Mr Cameron also pledged three Merlin helicopters to the rescue effort.

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