A ROYAL Navy ship arrived today in an Italian port carrying 617 rescued migrants.
Royal Navy sailors, many of them from Portmouth, have rescued hundreds of people in the largest operation since being deployed to the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
Flagship HMS Bulwark has arrived in the Sicilian port of Catania.
The ship had been alerted to four 30ft inflatable boats which got into distress off the coast of Libya.
Each boat was reported to be in a perilous condition, carrying around scores of migrants, including pregnant women and children.
Pictures released by the navy show rescued migrants sitting wearing life jackets on one of Bulwark’s landing craft as they wait to be transported to safety.
The operation aims to help refugees fleeing the turmoil in Africa and the Middle East.