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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

"Dehydrated but alive": Irish Naval ship LÉ Eithne rescue migrants off the coast of Italy

To date, the Irish crew have rescued over 600 migrants since leaving Cork.

Lampedusa 04 June 15 4 The fibreglass hulled boat that emitted a PANPAN distress call and was successfully rescued by the crew of the LE EITHNE. Source: Irish Defence Forces

IRISH NAVAL VESSEL the LÉ Eithne was involved in another rescue operation today off the coast of Italy.

Just after 9am, the boat successfully located a small craft with 12 people on board.

Source: Video

The Defence Forces said the people were successfully recovered and were “dehydrated but alive”.

Lampedusa 04 June 15 1 Source: Irish Defence Forces

They said there was no fuel, food, or water found on board.

The ship had gotten into distress 30 miles north of Lampedusa, the largest of the Italian Pelagie Islands.​

Distress call

Last night, LÉ Eithne received a distress message from Italian Search and Rescue Authorities.

The Irish crew searched through the night using extra lookouts and combing patterns in a bid to locate the boat. Crew on deck spotted the boat shortly before 8am.

Lampedusa 04 June 15 3 Source: Irish Defence Forces

The vessel, a fibreglass hulled boat, with a single outboard engine, ​​is approximately​ ​6​metr​es​ in length.

It had departed from Tripoli with the 12 people, all male, five days ago.

The 12 men recovered are badly dehydrated and are being cared for by the​ Navy and Army medical staff on board.

Lampedusa 04 June 15 2 Source: Irish Defence Forces

This is the fourth successful operation the LÉ Eithne has undertaken since its departure from Cork.

To date, the crew have brought to safety 649 migrants.

Just last month, the LÉ Eithne was involved in the rescue of 200 migrants off the coast of Libya.

The men rescued today are currently still on board the LÉ Eithne, which is making its way to a larger vessel. The men will then be transferred to the Italian authorities.

Pictures: 500 migrants rescued – as LÉ Eithne carries out THREE operations in 24 hours>

Watch: 200 migrants rescued by Irish Naval ship LÉ Eithne off Libyan coast

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