HMS Westminster to take over Libyan duties from HMS York

HMS Westminster loads up with supplies at Her Majesty's Naval Base, Gibralta.

HMS Westminster loads up with supplies at Her Majesty's Naval Base, Gibralta.

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HMS York will hand over her duties patrolling crisis-hit Libya to HMS Westminster today, the navy has confirmed.

Westminster, a Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate, docked in Gibraltar on Wednesday to collect fuel and stores.

Lt Col (Ret’d) Stuart Green, who is a spokesman for Gibraltar Naval Base, said: ‘In addition to the more usual naval items, extra medical stores plus blankets and sheets were loaded onboard.’

The frigate sailed to the eastern Mediterranean to relieve HMS York, which arrived in Malta yesterday with 43 evacuees from Libya after delivering tons of medical supplies to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi

York was on the way to the Falkland Islands when she was ordered to go to Libya. Having handed over to HMS Westminster later today, she will continue on to her original task in the South Atlantic.

HMS Westminster received the order to go to the Medittereanen last week when she was alongside Canary Wharf in London during a five-day visit hosting dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Westminster.

The ship, which last year emerged from a multi-million pound refit, has recently completed sea trials and is back up to full capability.

She joins HMS Cumberland off the northern coast of Libya on stand-by as the revolution against Colonel Gaddafi’s regime continues.

Tens of thousands of refugees have fled the fighting between pro and anti-government forces.

It is thought Westminster will make an entrance in to Benghazi soon to deliver the medical stores, blankets and sheets in aid to the strife-torn nation.

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