LÉ Róisín rescues 395 migrants in the Mediterranean
Some 1,357 people have died or gone missing in Mediterranean Sea so far this year
LÉ Róisín crew members assist in rescuing people from a vessel located about 39 nautical miles northwest of Tripoli, Libya, today. Photograph: Irish Defence Forces
Irish naval vessel the LÉ Róisín rescued 395 migrants north of Tripoli in two operations in the Mediterranean on Monday.
The Irish Naval ship rescued the people, including 13 women, from an 18m wooden vessel about 39 nautical miles northwest of Tripoli, Libya, following a request from the Commander of Italian Navy Operation Mare Sicuro (OMS) with whom LE Róisín is co-operating.
The first operation began at 7.31am on Monday and all migrants were successfully transferred on to the LÉ Róisín by 11.47am. Those assisted received food, water and medical treatment.
The crew followed this up by assisting with another rescue of 121 people in a nearby location, 29 nautical miles northeast of Tripoli.
Last Monday, the LÉ Róisín rescued 125 people discovered northeast of Tripoli.
The vessel is the fourth Naval Service patrol ship to engage in operations in the region since May of last year, following the LÉ Eithne, LÉ Niamh and LÉ Samuel Beckett.
The ship, under the command of Lt Cmdr Ultan Finegan, has 60 officers and crew and will be stationed in the area until mid-July, when it may be replaced.
It is one of three Naval ships that will be sent this year on 12-week rotations.
Last year, some 8,592 migrants and refugees were rescued by Irish Naval Service vessels.
Italy has rescued about 250,000 migrants at sea in the past three years, with 20,000 so far this year.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, 1,357 people have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean so far this year.
Some 189,414 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far in 2016.