Royal Navy sailing for Lebanon

Saturday, July 15, 2006

HMS Illustrious (R06)
HMS Bulwark (L15).

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and landing ship HMS Bulwark have been ordered to 'make ready' to sail to Lebanon. It is reported that UK ministers are considering plans to evacuate UK citizens who are trapped there due to the Israeli naval blocade of Lebanese ports and the closure of Beirut airport on 13th July after Israeli airstrikes. It is also reported that they will help any New Zealand citizens as New Zealand does not have an embassy.

HMS Bulwark is currently off the coast of Spain and HMS Illustrious is in Gibraltar.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised UK citizens in Lebanon to "stay put for the time being and keep a low profile". They are advised to keep in touch with the British Embassy and to be ready for 'departure' at short notice as well as to have travel documents ready.

The move comes as the crisis between Israel and Lebanon approaches its fifth day.

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