LE Eithne rescues 12 in distress in small craft off Italian coast
The success of LE Eithne's rescue efforts continue as the brought to safety 12 people aboard a small craft off the coast of Italy.
At 9 am this morning, the Irish naval vessel located the craft in distress 30 miles north of Lampedusa, the largest of the Italian Pelagie Islands.
The rescue follows a distress message received by the ship's crew last night from Italian search and rescue authorities.
LE Eithne used extra lookouts and search patterns to comb the area where the vessel was last seen and at 8am local time this morning, the vessel was spotted by the watch on deck.
An immediate rescue effort and the 12 people were successfully recovered from the fibreglass hulled boat.
The twelve male passengers of the 6m metre vessel, which had departed Tripoli five days ago, were found badly dehydrated but alive.
Le Eithne is making its way to a larger vessel, where it will transfer the rescuees for the onward administrative processing by Italian authorities.
This is the fourth successful operation the LÉ EITHNE has undertaken since its departure from Cork, bringing to a total of 649 migrants saved since commencing operations.