A Royal Marine from
Milngavie is helping the
international effort to rescue stranded migrants from the Mediterranean sea.
Scott Kennedy (25) is one of a specialist team of Royal Marines permanently on board Britain’s flagship HMS Bulwark.
He and fellow marines are on humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean, searching for stranded migrants desperately fleeing war and poverty in North Africa.
Marine Kennedy is coxswain in charge of the navigation and steering of one of the landing craft playing a critical role in the rescue effort.
They have been picking up distressed migrants, who have often been left with no water and food in unseaworthy vessels running out of fuel, and taking them to safety.
The ship, which only weeks ago was at the heart of Britain’s involvement in centenary commemorations of the Gallipoli landings in Turkey, is leading the UK’s response to the plight of people trying to leave Africa in overcrowded and unsafe boats.
Bulwark carried out her first rescue of migrants on May 7 this year.
More than 100 people, including pregnant women and children, were picked up from a sinking makeshift dinghy about 40 miles off the coast of Libya. They were successfully transferred to an Italian coastguard cutter to be taken to land.
However, the ship’s vehicle deck, which normally holds tanks, armoured vehicles, Land Rovers and trucks, has been converted into a reception area. Clean dry clothes, medical treatment and food are available if HMS Bulwark has to deliver the rescued migrants to land.
Scott, a former High School of Glasgow pupil, said: “I’m proud to make a difference because it lessens the suffering of people less fortunate than ourselves.
“Helping folk who don’t have many options available to them is the right thing to do.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “HMS Bulwark and her crew have already proved an invaluable asset in assisting with the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
“The ship is providing medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need and transfers them safely to land as soon as possible.”