The Royal Navy Echo-class HMS Enterprise H88 has been operating as part of a task force which collectively have saved 4,400 desperate migrants on board more than 20 Europe-bound boats off the Libyan coast. Being in close proximity to four of the boats her crew brought 453 migrants aboard during the intense effort conducted on Saturday. The migrants were later transferred to the German frigate Schleswig Holstein which transported them to the southern Italian port of Taranto allowing Enterprise to continue patrolling the region for more migrant boats.
Enterprise is a 3,740 ton oceanographic survey vessel and replaced the 19,000 ton HMS Bulwark landing platform dock in the Mediterranean mission back in July causing concerns to be raised by aid agencies and parliamentary observers that the significantly smaller vessel would offer reduced capabilities. The Ministry of Defence responded to these concerns by stating that the vessel was more than up to the task given the previous experiences the Royal Navy has had in the EU mission. The dramatic events on Saturday would seem to support this opinion.