Irish vessel rescues 500 migrants in Mediterranean

Dublin, June 23 (IANS) An Irish naval vessel has rescued over 500 migrants in the Mediterranean, the military said on Tuesday.

The vessel, “LE Eithne” was alerted on Monday about three vessels in potential distress northwest of Tripoli in Libya, Irish Defence Minister Simon Coveney said.

LE Eithne, with a crew of about 65 personnel, was deployed to the Mediterranean in mid-May to assist the Italian authorities in humanitarian rescue operations. It will stay in the Mediterranean for up to six months, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Irish flagship, as part of a coordinated response to the crisis, rescued 104 people from the first vessel, 363 from the second and 53 from the third, Coveney said.

“This brings the total migrants rescued so far to 2,136,” he added.

LE Eithne provided medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need and will transfer them safely to a port in Italy as soon as possible, the defence minister said.

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