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Naval vessel L.. Samuel Beckett departs Cork to assist in the Humanitarian Crisis in the Mediterranean

Thursday 24th September 2015


L.. Samuel Beckett under the command of her captain, Lieutenant Commander Anthony Geraghty, departs the Naval Base, Haulbowline this morning, en route for the Mediterranean to assist the Italian authorities in the humanitarian operation to rescue migrants from the waters between Libya and Sicily.

The Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., announced earlier this month that L.. Samuel Beckett would replace L.. Niamh at the end of September and would deploy to the Mediterranean to continue Ireland’s contribution to the search and rescue mission up to 30 November 2015, subject to ongoing assessment of the crisis and the operational need to continue to provide such assistance.

L.. Niamh has spent the past ten weeks in the Mediterranean and is scheduled to return to Ireland early next month. A total of 4,020 people have been rescued by L.. Niamh during her deployment to the Mediterranean. Tragically, 39 bodies were also recovered by L.. Niamh during her deployment.

The Minister said “The success of the operations carried out to date by L.. Eithne and L.. Niamh involving the recovery of 7,397 migrants demonstrates clearly the value of Ireland’s participation in this important humanitarian response.”

L.. Samuel Beckett with a crew of 59 Naval Service personnel including 4 Defence Forces medics drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Corps will continue the remarkable work started by L.. Eithne and continued by L.. Niamh.

The Minister added “It is intended that the deployment of the L.. Samuel Beckett will complete the Naval Service’s current mission to the Mediterranean. The question of a further deployment at some stage in the future may be considered again in the context of the ongoing situation in the Mediterranean and the overall EU response thereto, the demands on the Defence Forces, our overseas commitments and available resources.

The Minister concluded by saying “I want to wish Lieutenant Commander Anthony Geraghty and the crew of L.. Samuel Beckett a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the Mediterranean with my best wishes and with those of the rest of the nation.”

ENDS




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