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LÉ Samuel Beckett Best Christmas Present As Back Home From Mediterranean Duty

17th December 2016
Bosun Gerry Dore is welcomed home yesterday by wife Geraldine and his daughters and mother-in-law at Haubowline Naval Base, Cork Harbour Bosun Gerry Dore is welcomed home yesterday by wife Geraldine and his daughters and mother-in-law at Haubowline Naval Base, Cork Harbour Photo: Irish Examiner

#BeckettHome - In time for Christmas with an arrival home writes The Irish Examiner. Hugs, kisses, and a few tears of joy shed as the crew of the LÉ Samuel Beckett disembarked to be greeted by loved ones yesterday after 85 days on migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

However, many of the sailors will forever remember the horrors they witnessed off the coast of Libya, as merciless people-smugglers knowingly send migrants to a certain death if they’re not rescued.

Ship’s captain Lieutenant Commander Darragh Kirwan said he had no doubt the migrants crammed into inflatable rubber dinghies would never have made it to Italy.

On their first day of operations, six migrants drowned as the ship went to the rescue of a group packed into a dinghy.

“Around 25% of all inflatables we came across had punctured chambers. There isn’t enough food on board them and they are only given enough petrol for 50 miles. They [people smugglers] know they are sending people to their deaths,” the senior officer said.

To add to their woes, “jackals”, as the navy term them, often prey on the migrants at sea, stealing their outboard motors and personal valuables.

For much more on the Haulbowline homecoming click here 

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