Irish Navy rescues 460 migrants in Mediterranean
IRISH Navy vessel LE Eithne has rescued more than 460 migrants in the Mediterranean during two separate operations.
In the first rescue, the crew located the men, women and children in choppy waters around 50km north-west of Tripoli, Libya, with all of them being safely recovered.
The migrants were found floating on a wooden barge.
In total 367 people were rescued by the crew on board the Irish navy vessel, including 278 men, 80 women and nine children.
The rescue operation began shortly before 7.30am yesterday, and all migrants were safely taken aboard shortly after 10am.
Later that afternoon the LE Eithne crew successfully rescued more than 100 people on a rubber craft.
The migrants were located 70km north-west of Tripoli, Libya, with the operation beginning at 12.57am and was successfully completed by 2.30pm.
This operation meant that there were more than 460 migrants on board the navy vessel yesterday, waiting to hear from Italy.
All those rescued received medical screening, food and water. The LE Eithne is currently awaiting direction from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre for its next tasking.
The latest operations brings to approximately 1,620 men, women and children the Irish navy vessel has safely rescued to date.
The Naval Service has been deployed in the Mediterranean for a period of up to six months over the summer period, with this being subject to the operational demands and requirements arising in the theatre of operations.
The LE Eithne will be replaced by another Irish vessel later in the summer.
They are there to provide a search-and-rescue capability and to undertake humanitarian rescue operations at sea in the Mediterranean.
The LE Eithne departed from the Naval Service Headquarters in Haulbowline, Co Cork, on May 16 to assist the Italian authorities in search-and-rescue operations.