HMS York has docked in Malta, returning from a rescue and aid mission to Libya.
The Portsmouth-based destroyer was sent to the crisis-hit nation to deliver tons of medical supplies and evacuate 60 stranded people from the Libyan port of Benghazi.
An Able Seaman from Fareham on his first naval deployment was at the forefront of the evacuation effort.
Niall Tuttiett, 23, said: ‘There were loads of people on the jetty when we arrived. As they were coming over to us some of them were telling us what they had been through – one man had been in Brega since February 13 and he was really grateful to be out of there. There was another lady with four children who was saying goodbye to family on the jetty which was quite emotional – they were all crying and hugging.’
The warship has been off Libya since last week when violence in the country worsened between pro and anti-Gaddafi forces.
Frigate HMS Cumberland, which is due to leave service next month, is still in the area after rescuing 400 people in two separate evacuation missions from Libya to Malta.