British Navy survey ship HMS Echo (pictured) has completed a successful mission to make Libyan waters safer and pass on specialist knowledge to the Libyan Navy.
HMS Echo used her sophisticated sonar equipment to map unseen wrecks, reefs and rocks off the Libyan coast and make navigation less hazardous. Significant discoveries included a number of uncharted wrecks in shipping lanes which could have posed a danger to vessels. The operation was the ship’s second visit to Libya following a successful trip in 2012.
In total the ship’s crew surveyed 46.8 square nautical miles, an area equal to that of just under 20,000 football pitches. All of the survey data will be shared with the Libyan Hydrographic Office in order for the area’s charts to be updated.
In addition, specialists from the ship passed their expertise on to members of the Libyan Navy who spent several days on board. The sailors learned the modern surveying methods including side-scan sonar, satellite positioning and electronic data collection to allow the Libyan Navy to take responsibility for mapping their waters in the future.
Commander Matt Syrett, the Commanding Officer of HMS Echo, said:
"I am delighted that HMS Echo has been able to build upon the relationship started when we visited last year and being part of the UK government’s contribution towards a stable future for Libya is something that my entire team can be proud of.
"The Libyan sailors that we have worked alongside have shown themselves to be professional and capable throughout and I am confident that the work we have undertaken and the training provided will make a real impact on the redevelopment of these ports for the Libyan people."