The Prime Minister announced at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels that Britain is prepared to send HMS Bulwark, three Merlin MK 2 Helicopters and two civilian border patrol boats to deploy to the Mediterranean in light of recent tragedies.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that it is right for Britain to step forward and for the Royal Navy to play a role in the search and rescue operations, which will help to save lives. He also welcomed the fact that other EU countries have joined Britain in offering military assets and said that longer term, a more comprehensive strategy is needed to make a difference.
HMS Bulwark is currently supporting the Gallipoli Centenary events in Turkey and will depart on 26 April after her ceremonial duties come to an end. The 19,000 tonne amphibious ship will work in tandem with the surveillance helicopters to provide a day and night search and rescue capability covering ranges in excess of 100 miles.