UK Navy Warship HMS Liverpool Rescues Refugee Ship off Tripoli


HMS Liverpool helped rescue a refugee ship when it came under fire off Tripoli as Libya’s civil war engulfed the country’s capital.

As rebel forces closed in on the heart of the city, a small Maltese ship tried to enter harbour to ferry evacuees to safety – only to come under fire.

The vessel was damaged and, although still under way, her manoeuvrability was limited.

She was spotted by the Portsmouth destroyer, which was carrying out a surveillance mission off Tripoli at the time, and the Royal Navy vessel immediately offered assistance.

The Type 42 destroyer threw a line to the stricken craft and towed her to open waters so she could return to Malta safely under her own steam.

With the good deed done, Liverpool resumed her mission monitoring fast-flowing events ashore.

Prime Minister David Cameron praised the efforts of all Service personnel involved in Operation Ellamy – the British codename for the operation first to evacuate civilians from Libya, then to enforce UN sanctions under NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

He said that British forces would remain committed to the mission “for as long as needed” to support the wider NATO mission to protect civilians.

“This has not been our revolution, but we can be proud that we have played our part,” he said outside No.10 this morning.”

“Today the Arab spring is a step further away from oppression and dictatorship and a step closer to freedom and democracy.”

“And the Libyan people are closer to their dream of a better future.”

Source: royalnavy, August 23, 2011;