Almost 400 people have been rescued by the Irish naval vessel LE Eithne in the Mediterranean over the weekend.
All were due to disembark from the naval vessel at an Italian port this morning.
Irish navy teams rescued 310 persons adrift on a barge on Saturday morning. Later in the day, they located and rescued 89 more migrants in two inflatable boats 75 miles north of Libya.
The second rescue of the day brought the total number of rescued migrants on board to 399 – 280 men, 78 women, and 41 children. The Irish ship was directed by the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre to transfer the migrants to Taranto port in Italy.
Italy’s coastguard said nearly 3,500 migrants were rescued on Saturday yesterday from 15 boats off the coast of Libya.
The International Organisation for Migration has praised the Irish Naval Service for its efforts – to date the Le Eithne has brought more than 1,100 people to safety in the Mediterranean.
More than 1,600 people have drowned so far this year trying to make the sea crossing. Many are fleeing war in Libya, where Islamic State fanatics are terrorising the population
The Le Eithne departed from Ireland on May 16 to assist in rescue operations. It will continue its rescue operations in the region for six months.