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Displaying items by tag: Refugee Migrant Crisis

#FourthMedShip? - Another Naval Service ship to the Mediterranean may be sent by the Government early next year to assist with the ongoing refugee crisis after the LE Samuel Beckett completes its current tour of duty later this month, according to Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney.

Mr Coveney said the LE Samuel Beckett is due back at Naval Service HQ in Haulbowline on December 17th and a full assessment will be undertaken then on the mission which has seen the LE Samuel Beckett, the LE Eithne and the LE Niamh rescue some 8,631 refugees to date.

“I would be expecting to send a ship out at the end of February/early March next year - that would be the expectation but obviously that will be a government decision and in all likelihood it will be a new government at that stage,” he said.

To read more, The Irish Times reports also reports on possible Defence Forces deployments elsewhere.

Published in Navy

#EithneEntersMed - Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne (P31) this evening entered the Strait of Gibraltar on her way to assist in the Mediterranean's migrant crisis, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The deployment of the 1,800 tonnes HPV is to enable in the search and rescue (SAR) of refugee migrants from mostly small craft that face the danger of sinking and loss of life.

She had departed her Naval Base homeport of Haulbowline, Cork Harbour on Saturday. Since her departure three days ago at the naval base is where Minister of Defence Simon Coveney was joined by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. to meet the crew of 70 in total. Two crew members are from the Army Medical Corps to assist refugees in an ever worsening migrant crisis.

The Cork built flagship dating from 1984 was commissioned originally as a Helicpoter Patrol Vessel (HPV) hence the extensive aft-deck space and adjoining hanger which will be used by boarding migrants.

It is also understood that the three RIBs will provide rapid reaction launch missions to assist in SAR operations. The need for such RIB craft will step up efforts as the growing numbers of refugees flee north Africa having fled war-torn regions of the Middle East and swathes of northern Africa.

The RIBS will be launched to aid sinking craft laden with refugees. Many of these unseaworthy craft used by people-traffickers are then abandoned except for the 'human-cargo'  left to drift.

LÉ Eithne is expected to reach Italy this weekend (if not before) and to where the countries authorities will preside in the overall running of humanitarian operations.

This is the first time that an Irish Naval Service vessel has been involved in a humanitarian role overseas.

The base port to where LÉ Eithne is assigned has not been disclosed by the Department of Defence for operational security reasons. It is reported that the deployment duration in the Mediterranean is for two months and then the 80m flagship will be relieved by another Irish patrol vessel.

Published in Navy
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