Wednesday 16 August 2017

Irish navy rescue 350 refugees in just two days from the Mediterranean

LÉ Samuel Beckett Rescues 220* Migrants During Two Search and Rescue Operations 04 October 2016
LÉ Samuel Beckett Rescues 220* Migrants During Two Search and Rescue Operations 04 October 2016
LÉ Samuel Beckett Rescues 220* Migrants During Two Search and Rescue Operations 04 October 2016
Crew of the LÉ Samuel Beckett. Picture: Irish Defence Forces
Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

An Irish naval ship has rescued almost 350 refugees from the Mediterranean in the last two days.

The LÉ Samuel Beckett, an Irish navy vessel, rescued 220 refugees from the Mediterranean on Tuesday across two search and rescue operations.

Beginning at 6.15am, the vessel came to the aid of refugees on two rubber boats at the request of the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre.

They brought 125 refugees on board from the first rescue and 95 from the second, both in the waters northeast of Tripoli in Libya.

LÉ Samuel Beckett Rescues 220* Migrants During Two Search and Rescue Operations 04 October 2016
LÉ Samuel Beckett Rescues 220* Migrants During Two Search and Rescue Operations 04 October 2016
LÉ Samuel Beckett. Picture: Irish Defence Forces

The refugees received food, water and medical attention on board and the LÉ Samuel Beckett is now awaiting more tasks.

The ship left Naval Service Headquarters in Cork on the 23rd of September to assist the Italian authorities with rescue missions. On Monday the crew rescued 128 people in the area.

More than 300,000 refugees have arrived on European shores in 2016 but over 3,500 have died at sea on the crossing, according to the Missing Migrants Project. The Italian Coastguard’s resources are stretched thin across rescue missions and even thinner once refugees reach the shore to be processed.

Rescue figures are provisional until confirmed by Italian authorities.

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