17 December 2015
By David O’Sullivan
After a successful 10 week deployment to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, the Irish Naval vessel L.É. Samuel Beckett returned today (Thursday) to the Naval Base in Haulbowline.
L.É. Samuel Beckett was the third naval vessel to be deployed to the Mediterranean to assist the Italian Authorities on a humanitarian search and rescue mission. Irish Naval vessels have been deployed on patrol in the waters between Libya and Sicily since May of this year. L.É. Samuel Beckett with a crew of 59 Naval Service personnel including 4 Defence Forces medics drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Corps continued the remarkable work started by L.É. Eithne and continued by L.É. Niamh. L.É. Samuel Beckett rescued 1,088 men, women and children, bringing the total rescued by Naval Service vessels to 8,592.
L.É. Samuel Beckett’s crew received a warm welcome from the crowds of cheering families and friends celebrating their return home. The Minister for Defence said “I am delighted to welcome home L.É. Samuel Beckett and her crew under the leadership of Lieutenant Commander Anthony Geraghty”.
The Minister went on to say, “I commend the crew for the excellent role they played in saving the lives of so many migrants, some of whom were fleeing desperate circumstances. We are all very proud of their efforts”.
The Minister went on to say “I wish to express my appreciation and that of the Government for the valuable 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 that all of the men and women of L.É Samuel Beckett must be looking forward to spending time with their families and I am sure there will be plenty of happy celebrations in the coming days. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.”