2 October 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
After a successful 12 week deployment to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, the Irish Naval vessel L.É. Niamh returned today (Friday) to the Naval Base and Dockyard, Haulbowline in Cork.
L.É. Niamh was the second naval vessel to be deployed to the Mediterranean to assist the Italian Authorities with the search and rescue mission. Irish Naval vessels have been assigned to patrol the waters between Libya and Sicily. During her deployment L.É. Niamh rescued a total of 4,020 people. Tragically, 39 bodies were also recovered by L.É. Niamh.
The ship, under the command of her captain, Lieutenant Commander Daniel Wall, and her crew, received a warm welcome from the crowds of cheering families and friends celebrating their emotional return home.
The Minister for Defence said “I am delighted to welcome the crew of L.É. Niamh home. I commend you for the excellent role you have played in saving the lives of so many migrants, some of whom are fleeing desperate circumstances. I am very, very proud of your efforts”.
The Minister went on to say “The Government and I highly value the important work done by the Defence Forces serving with the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, in what can be very difficult circumstances”.
The Minister added “I know all the men and women of L.É Niamh are looking forward to spending time with their families and I am sure there will be lots of happy celebrations in the coming days”.
Since the deployment of L.É. Eithne in May 2015 a total of 7,397 people have been rescued in the Mediterranean by Irish naval vessels on search and rescue missions. L.É Samuel Beckett has deployed to the Mediterranean to continue Ireland’s contribution to the search and rescue mission.