05 Aug 2015 - LÉ NIAMH Involved in Search and Rescue Operation (Update).

At 8 am Irish time, the LÉ NIAMH was tasked by the Italian Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) to come to the assistance of a fishing vessel 110 kilometres north-west of Tripoli with an estimated 600 persons on board.

The LÉ NIAMH arrived on scene at 11.45 am and deployed two rhibs (rigid hull inflatable boats) either side of the vessel as per standard operating procedure, however the vessel capsized. The LÉ NIAMH immediately deployed all available assets including rhibs and life rafts.

The Italian vessel the MIMBELLI sent a helicopter to the scene to deploy additional life rafts and two further vessels, the Italian SIRIO and Médicins Sans Frontiére DIGNITY 1 are on site assisting with the efforts.

It can now be confirmed that 367 rescued people are on board (342 male, 12 female and 13 children) the LÉ NIAMH and 25 bodies have also been recovered. The operation is ongoing.

The LÉ NIAMH has rescued 1280 migrants before this operation.

The LÉ NIAMH deployed to OPERATION PONTUS on Friday 10th of July. The vessel has a crew of 57 personnel, including 2 Army medics and is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Daniel Wall.

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The role of the Irish Naval vessel is 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.

Press Release Date: Wednesday 05 Aug 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

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