04 June 2015 - LÉ EITHNE rescues 12 migrants .

At 9 am this morning, the LÉ EITHNE successfully located and rescued a small craft with 12 persons on board that was in distress 30 miles north of Lampedusa, the largest of the Italian Pelagie Islands.

Last night after departing Palermo, LÉ EITHNE received a PANPAN * distress message relayed by Italian Search and Rescue  Authorities of a small craft missing in the Mediterranean with 12  persons on board. A number of other vessels had been tasked with assisting in the search .

The LÉ EITHNE used extra lookouts and search patterns to comb the area where the vessel was last seen and at 8 am local time this morning the vessel was spotted by the watch on deck.

LÉ EITHNE launched an immediate rescue effort and the 12 people were successfully recovered, dehydrated but alive. The vessel a fibreglass hulled boat, with a single outboard engine, approximately 6 metres in length, had departed Tripoli five days ago and was found with no fuel, food, or water on board. The twelve occupants, all male, were badly dehydrated and are being cared for by the  Navy and Army medical staff on board.

The LÉ EITHNE is making its way to a larger vessel, where it will transfer the rescuees for the onward administrative processing by Italian authorities.

This is the fourth successful operation the LÉ EITHNE has undertaken since its departure from Cork, bringing to a total of 649 migrants saved since commencing operations.

*A PANPAN call is a state of urgency to alert authorities that there is a problem on board that poses a danger. As distinct from a MAYDAY call where danger to life is imminent.

The LÉ EITHNE departed on the 16th of May from Naval Service Headquarters in Haulbowline, Cork to assist the Italian Authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

The role of the Irish Naval vessel will be to provide a search and rescue capability and to undertake humanitarian rescue operations at sea in the Mediterranean. Assistance to persons in distress at sea will be provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of international conventions governing search and rescue situations.  The Naval Service vessel will be deployed in the Mediterranean for a period of up to six months over the summer period, subject to the operational demands and requirements arising in the theatre of operations.

View High Resolution images of this Mornings Operation


Press Release Date:  04 June 2015

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Seán Ó Fátharta

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer

Read more about the L.É Eithne