Waters are safer thanks to a hi-tech Royal Navy survey

‘UK needs to boost its budget for the military’

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THE waters around the coast of Libya are now safer to navigate, thanks to the work of a Royal Navy survey ship.

HMS Echo used state-of-the-art sonar equipment to map the unseen wrecks, reefs and rocks of 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 shipping. The operation was the ship’s second visit to Libya following a successful trip in 2012.

In total the crew surveyed 46.8 square nautical miles, equal to 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 onboard.

Commander Matt Syrett, the ship’s commanding officer, 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 who 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.’