Dutch Navy Lynx & crew held in Libya

Dutch Navy Lynx lifts off from Leeuwarden Air Base after the 2009 Open Dagen / © Frank Grealish

Dutch Navy Lynx lifts off from Leeuwarden Air Base after the 2009 Open Dagen / © Frank Grealish

Posted By Frank Grealish

The three crew members of a Royal Netherlands Navy SH-14 Lynx helicopter (serial no: 277), while attempting to rescue two workers from the city of Sirte, Libya, have been held by forces loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi.

The helicopter flew to Libya from HNLMS Tromp, a De Zeven ProvinciŽn-class air-defence and command frigate, that was sailing off the Libyan coast.

The two workers, one Dutch and one whose nationality was not released, were also captured. They were handed over to the Dutch embassy in Tripoli on Thursday and have since left Libya.

However the helicopter crew, one of which is female, are still being held and their release is still the subject of intensive diplomatic consultations.

Defense Minister Hans Hillen and Chief of Defence General Peter van Uhm indicated concern about the military detained and sympathize with the uncertainty of the families. The Minister: "It was good to hear that the evacuees have left Libya alive and well. Everything is being done to also get the crew safely out of the country as soon as possible."

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Source: Netherlands MoD

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