The Ministry of Defence has released footage taken by the Royal Navy of the latest rescue of African migrants conducted by the British warship HMS Bulwark operating in the Mediterranean. The footage shows how over 400 migrants including pregnant women and children crammed themselves aboard just four inflatable dinghies and set out across the Mediterranean hoping to reach Italy and the safety of the European Union.
HMS Bulwark deployed her landing craft, vessels more accustomed to taking troops ashore than rescuing migrants, in order to get the people off the dangerously overcrowded dinghies as quickly as possible. Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel were so concerned about the possibility that people may actually be nudged off the dinghies that their first priority was to issue them life jackets before they began transferring to the landing craft.
Once the transfer from the dinghies was complete the landing craft turned back to Bulwark where they docked at the rear of the vessel. Upon being taken onboard the migrants were given medical and humanitarian aid before plans to transfer them to the shore could be acted upon. This has been the biggest rescue operation carried out by HMS Bulwark since arriving in the Mediterranean at the end of April.