15 July 2016
By Bryan Smyth
After a successful 10 week deployment to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, the Irish Naval vessel L.É. Róisín returned today (Friday) to the Naval Base and Dockyard, Haulbowline in Cork.
Since her deployment on 1 May 2016, L.É. Róisín has rescued a total of 1,264 people. In addition, assistance was provided to a further 1,065 migrants who were taken on board from other vessels and brought to safety. Tragically, 3 bodies were also recovered by L.É. Róisín.
The ship, under the command of her captain, Lieutenant Commander Ultan Finegan, and her crew, received a warm welcome from the families and friends gathered around to welcome them home.
Minister Kehoe said “I am delighted to have this opportunity to welcome home L.É. Róisín and her crew under the command of Lieutenant Commander Ultan Finegan. I wish to congratulate you all for the excellent role you have played in saving the lives of so many migrants over the past 10 weeks. The Government and I are very proud of your efforts.” The deployment of Irish Naval vessels to the Mediterranean to engage in humanitarian search and rescue tasks is an important element in Ireland’s response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. The success of these operations demonstrates clearly the value of Ireland’s participation in this important work.
Minister Kehoe went on to say “Unfortunately thousands of people continue to make the very dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. The requirement for humanitarian search and rescue operations in this part of the world remains and Ireland will continue to play its part.”
“L.É. Róisín was the first ship to be deployed in 2016. She is being replaced in the area of operations by L.É. James Joyce which is expected to commence search and rescue operations shortly. L.É. James Joyce will, no doubt, continue the remarkable work carried out by L.É. Róisín this year and L.É. Eithne, L.É. Niamh and L.É. Samuel Beckett in 2015.”
The Minister added “I wish to thank the crew of the L.É. Róisín for the significant role undertaken by them in the Mediterranean and to commend them on the courage, dedication and commitment shown by them on this mission. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank your families and friends who have supported you in undertaking this role. ”
Since the deployment of the first Irish Navel vessel in May 2015, a total of almost 10,000 migrants have been saved by Irish Naval vessels on search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean.