HMS Bulwark rescues migrants in 'busiest day' of operations in the Mediterranean

HMS Bulwark has been involved in a rescue mission to save migrants found in boats in the Mediterranean. Credit: MoD/PA

HMS Bulwark has already rescued 701 people in what promises to be the busiest day of operations in the Mediterranean.

Overnight, intelligence from the Italian authorities suggested a number of migrant boats had put to sea. At first light Bulwark's helicopter took off to find them. The helicopter directed its landing craft to one wooden and three inflatable boats. On one vessel alone there were eight pregnant woman among the migrants.

This afternoon, a fifth migrant boat has been spotted and Royal Navy crews are steaming to the rescue.

As the migrants were brought onboard Bulwark, I spoke to a number of men from Ghana, Bangladesh and Pakistan. One Ghanaian teenager said he had left home two years ago in the search of a better life but along the way had seen two of his friends killed during riots in Libya.

All the migrants picked up by HMS Bulwark will be delivered to the Italian authorities in the comings days.