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Update on Migrant Rescue Operation in the Mediterranean involving LE Niamh

The Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney T.D. confirmed this evening that the Naval Vessel LE Niamh is en route to Palermo, Italy following a very difficult rescue operation today in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast. LE Niamh rescued 367 people during the course of the operation - 342 males, 12 females and 13 minors. 25 bodies were also recovered as part of the rescue operation, which is ongoing. With 367 people and 25 bodies on board, the Irish Naval Vessel is expected to arrive in Palermo before midday tomorrow.

The Minister stated "this has been a very difficult day for the crew of LE Niamh and for the migrants involved. I would like to commend the Captain and the crew of LE Niamh for their outstanding endeavours today in saving the lives of 367 people."

At 8 am Irish time, the LÉ Niamh was tasked by the Italian Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) to come to the assistance of a fishing vessel north-west of Tripoli, which was in distress with an estimated 600 persons on board. The LE Niamh, along Italian Naval vessels, the Medicins Sans Frontiére vessel “DIGNITY ONE”, and a number of helicopters have been engaged in the rescue operation today. The rescue operation is continuing in the area.

The Minister concluded that "special support will be provided to the crew of LE Niamh following today's event. In addition to the Counselling services available on board, a Critical Incident Stress Management Team will be deployed to assist the crew".







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