29 June 2015 - LÉ EITHNE Rescues 647 Migrants from Two Vessels .

The LÉ EITHNE successfully located and rescued a total of 647 migrants off two separate vessels, 50 Nautical Miles north-west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital today.

In the early hours of this morning 593 migrants, who were rescued on 28 June, were transferred to HMS Bulwark and the crew prepared the ship for further search and rescue operations.

At 8 am Irish time operations recommenced, with LÉ EITHNE rescuing 330 migrants on a wooden barge, 50 Nautical Miles north-west of Tripoli. This operation was completed at 10. 30 am. Weather conditions at the time were excellent.

Immediately following the first rescue the LÉ EITHNE was re-tasked to assist with the rescue of a further 317 migrants on a wooden barge. in the vicinity. The rescue commenced at 11 am and all migrants were on board by 1 pm.

There are now approximately 647* rescuees on board; 544 males, 95 females and 8 children.

The LÉ EITHNE is awaiting direction from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre for next tasking.

LÉ EITHNE rescue tally (excluding the current rescue) to date is as follows:

2729  (Male-2120, Female -438, Minors-171)

*Figures for today's operation are provisional until confirmed when the migrants are administratively handed over to Italian authorities.

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.

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Press Release Date:  28 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

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