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LE Eithne to Depart Today for Mediterranean Rescue Mission

23rd May 2017
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Naval Service flagship LE Eithne underway on exercise. The HPV is to depart today on its second deployment to assist in humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean Naval Service flagship LE Eithne underway on exercise. The HPV is to depart today on its second deployment to assist in humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean Photo: Irish Defence Forces

#EithneToMed - Patrol vessels of the Naval Service will be deployed for a third summer of humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean.

As Independent.ie writes the Naval Service flagship, LE Eithne, has been assigned to begin the rotation of three ships in the Mediterranean on rescue operations for migrants attempting to reach Europe from North Africa.

It had been expected that the 33 year old vessel would depart Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork on May 1 but that departure was rescheduled pending final Government approval and will depart tomorrow.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe will wish the vessel and 72-strong crew under Captain Brian Fitzgerald well as they depart Haulbowline Naval Base at 11am.

The first deployment under Operation Pontus 2017 will last for three months with two further Naval Service patrol vessels expected to be deployed until next November.

Ireland first dispatched Naval Service vessels to the region in 2015 amid concerns over the number of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean after leaving North Africa, in particular the Libyan coast, on flimsy inflatable craft.

The inflatable craft were totally unsuited to the journey and were almost always dangerously overloaded by ruthless people smugglers.
Hundreds of migrants have drowned as a result.

LE Eithne completed a previous deployment to the Mediterranean alongside other Irish patrol vessels including LE James Joyce, LE Samuel Beckett and LE James Joyce.
Irish crews work under the direction of the Italian Navy and Coastguard.

For much more on the story, the newspaper has more to report by clicking here.

 

 

Published in Navy
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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