Royal Navy's HMS Lancaster Supports Evacuation From Sudan

Royal Navy
A sailor stands security watch aboard HMS Lancaster. The U.S. Navy fast transport USNS Brunswick is moored just astern, background (Royal Navy)

Published May 2, 2023 4:56 PM by Royal Navy News

Sailors and Royal Marines on HMS Lancaster have helped hundreds of civilians flee war-torn Sudan, assisting their escape through the country’s main port.

The frigate arrived in Port Sudan in the Red Sea last week as part of the UK effort to assist British citizens and those from partner nations get away from the raging civil war.

As well as the airlift of civilians from around the capital – an operation supported by the Royal Marines of 3 Commando – Britain’s response to the crisis also saw people evacuated across the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia by ship, from where onward travel is arranged.

British nationals were processed and supported by personnel from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and UK Border Force, assisted by the UK Armed Forces.

Hundreds of people have arrived in Port Sudan by road, with the safety of their journey having been bolstered by members of 3 Parachute Regiment and 42 Commando Royal Marines, who disembarked from HMS Lancaster.

Mohammed Kadouk, who was born in Cardiff and studied at Aberdeen University, made the 500-mile journey to Port Sudan with his wife and three-week-old daughter. He described the dangerous situation in Khartoum and challenges they had faced.

“Once I got here [Coral Hotel reception center] it has been really good. My priority is my family, I need to get them somewhere safe, get them settled and then get back to work,” he said.

From the reception center at the Coral Hotel, where the FCDO has opened a temporary consular facility, eligible people were transported to the port where they were supported for safe onward travel to Jeddah. The crew of HMS Lancaster were on hand to provide meals, welfare and general support.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Lancaster, Commander Tom Johnson, said: “My thoughts and the thoughts of my entire ship’s company are here with the people of Sudan. Today the ship’s company have been working as hard as we can to support them in their departure efforts; providing food, administrative and logistics help, and providing supplies for young children and babies.”

HMS Lancaster is deployed to the Middle East on a long-term mission, usually operating in and around the Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean, protecting international trade and countering illicit activity. She works with regional allies and partners to ensure the security and safety of merchant shipping passing through these waters and to conduct maritime security operations.  


The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.