Thursday 16th June 2017 - LÉ Eithne Rescues 346 Migrants.

At 8.00am this morning, following a request from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, LÉ Eithne located and rescued a total of 135 migrants from an inflatable craft approx 83Km off the North West coast of Tripoli.

LÉ Eithne was subsequently appointed on scene coordinator by the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination to coordinate the rescue efforts of 3 NGO vessels dealing with 10 platforms in distress (PIDs).

LÉ Eithne has now completed a second and third rescue of 211 migrants from two further inflatable craft, as well as taking 85 migrants on board from one of the NGO ships.

LÉ Eithne currently has 431 migrants on board (346 rescued, 85 transferred from NGO vessel) and is proceeding to two further PIDs, while also coordinating the NGO ships.

The migrants on board are currently receiving food water and medical treatment where required.

Photos and some video of todays operation is available here.

LÉ Eithne deployed to the Mediterranean on 23 May 2017 as part of the Government's response to the migrant crisis in Europe.

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 is provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of international conventions governing search and rescue situations.

Since L.É. Eithne first deployed to the Mediterranean with Operation PONTUS on the 16th of May 2015, Defence Forces personnel have rescued 15,621 migrants.

Press Release Date: 16th June 2017

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Pat O'Connor

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer