Ship’s Libya mission starts

HMS Liverpool
HMS Liverpool

Top American admiral visits Portsmouth Naval Base

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PORTSMOUTH-based HMS Liverpool has taken over surveillance operations in Libya from HMS Cumberland.

The Type 42 destroyer, which has a crew of around 280, has been sent to the warzone to help enforce a Nato naval blockade.

She replaced Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland on Saturday.

Cumberland is being sent back to Britain after more than a month in Libya.

The ship’s captain Steve Dainton, who lives in Waterlooville, has overseen three evacuations in Libya and conducted searches for warships.

HMS Liverpool will undertake surveillance and embargo operations alongside minehunter HMS Brockelsby.

The purpose of the Nato blockade – part of Operation Unified Protector – is to stop arms entering the country and to keep Colonel Gaddafi’s warships in port.

Another Portsmouth-based frigate, HMS Westminster, returned to Portsmouth after completing her Libya mission on Friday.

She spent one month off the coast of the rebel-held city of Benghazi.