HMS Enterprise on search and rescue exercise in Cyprus

HMS Enterprise worked with Cypriot partners for a search and rescue exercise in the Mediterranean.

The survey ship joined the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre, the Republic of Cyprus Police Aviation Unit and 84 Squadron, from RAF Akrotiri, for the annual training.

It simulates the joint rescue of a missing person at sea and the evacuation of an injured crew member from on board the ship.

Enterprise recently returned to Limassol having been deployed to Beirut after the explosion at the port. She worked alongside the Lebanese Navy Hydrographic Service to conduct a survey of approaches to the port.

Once back in Cyprus, she was joined by the British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie and Lieutenant Junior Grade Anastasios Paraskevopoulos from the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre for the exercise.

Commander Cecil Ladislaus, commanding officer of HMS Enterprise, said: “Having been deployed across the globe this year, the importance of working with our international partners cannot be understated.

“At the start of this year, we needed to conduct a casualty evacuation using helicopter support. This sort of thing could happen to any mariner, anytime, anywhere – it is in our best interests to train and work together like this to ensure that we are ready should the unexpected occur.”

Such exercises are vital for maintaining our search and rescue preparedness and an excellent opportunity to bring our nations together in training.

British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie

The exercise saw a member of the Cyprus Navy join Royal Navy ship Enterprise before she sailed off the coast of Limassol.

They searched and located the “person” (played by a dummy) missing at sea, before 84 Squadron were called in to winch them to safety to their helicopter.

The ship then acted as if a member of their crew was in need of evacuation and again called on 84 Squadron to winch them off the deck.

Speaking after the exercise, Mr Lillie said: “Such exercises are vital for maintaining our search and rescue preparedness and an excellent opportunity to bring our nations together in training.

“We value our long-running cooperation with Cyprus in both search and rescue and crisis response, and we look forward to continuing to work together, including through live exercises, to the benefit of both our countries and the wider region.”

Major General Rob Thomson, Commander British Forces Cyprus, added: “This exercise further strengthens an already close working relationship between our two nations.

“Our crew from RAF Akrotiri’s 84 Squadron have worked successfully alongside their colleagues in the Republic of Cyprus on an almost daily basis, fighting fires during this very busy summer period. To be able to utilise the capabilities of HMS Enterprise whilst it is moored in Cyprus was also an opportunity too good to miss.”