28th May 2015 - Naval Service Flagship the LÉ EITHNE Rescues Migrants.

The Naval Service flagship the LÉ EITHNE conducted a successful rescue operation of 201 migrants 60 kilometres North of Libya this morning in co-operation with with Italian, German and British ships, with the operation continuing.

The migrants were part of a flotilla of five (5) make shift inflatable vessels that were attempting to cross the South Central Mediterranean. The migrants include men, women, children and one infant.

At 8 am (Irish time) the LÉ EITHNE received notification from the Italian Marine Rescue Coordination Centre and the Italian Task Force Commander of five inflatable crafts crossing the Mediterranean.

The LÉ EITHNE deployed immediately to assist and arrived on scene at 10 am. he sea conditions during the rescue were calm.

The crew of the LÉ EITHNE came to the migrants assistance giving them food, water and first aide at the scene. The rescuees will be transferred to the HMS BULWARK where they will in turn be transported to a port of safety in Italy.

The LÉ EITHNE departed on the 16th of May from Naval Service Headquarter 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.


This is the first rescue by the crew of the LÉ EITHNE since being tasked by Government to deploy to assist with the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.

View High Resolution Photographs from the Deployment including today's operation.


Press Release Date: 28th May 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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