HMS Enterprise supports Beirut after port explosion

HMS Enterprise has been in Beirut to carry out survey work of the port and deliver vital stores to the city.

The Royal Navy ship has been tasked to support the UK’s efforts following the explosion which has devastated Lebanon’s capital city.

Enterprise has spent the past couple of weeks loading stores from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, and taking them across the Mediterranean to Beirut, including 500 canvas cots, 112 tents and five field kitchens.

Loaded up on the vessel’s quarterdeck, the supplies will be able to house and feed up to 500 soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) who are working on the relief operation.

Also on board Enterprise were three soldiers from the British Army’s Mercian Regiment, ready to help the LAF set up the tents and field kitchens, and seven members of the Royal Marines Force Protection Team from 42 Commando.

Commander Cecil Ladislaus, commanding officer of Enterprise, said: “HMS Enterprise has had a small role to play here supporting our partners in Lebanon in their efforts to rebuild and more importantly, reopen this vital port.

“We are all proud of what we have achieved here working shoulder to shoulder with our Lebanese partners.”

With her supplies on board, Enterprise sailed to Beirut last week and saw the scale and destruction of the blast which happened on August 4.

We are all proud of what we have achieved here working shoulder to shoulder with our Lebanese partners.

Commander Cecil Ladislaus, commanding officer of HMS Enterprise

Once safely alongside, berthed just one basin across from the partially destroyed grain silos and next to the capsized Orient Queen cruise ship, sailors began to unload the essential equipment from the deck.

Cdr Ladislaus met with the LAF and British Embassy personnel to offer his deepest condolences and discuss how his ship can support getting the port back open.

Less than week after being tasked to help, Enterprise was able to get onto the job she is designed for: surveying the water and seabed.

The ship was able to do a full bathymetric survey - measuring the depth of the water and mapping the underwater features of the harbour approaches.

Working closely with her survey motor boat Spitfire, which was able to go inshore to facilitate the overall survey picture, the task was completed within a day.

The raw data was processed by the ship and handed over to Beirut.

“Our deployment to Lebanon is part of a wider cross government military and civilian support package,” Cdr Ladislaus said.

“Given our strong ties with our fellow hydrographers in Lebanon, we are here to deliver support both ashore, through deployment of a British Army team based in Cyprus, and afloat through survey work which will complement that which has already been completed by the Lebanese Navy.”