Irish Navy rescues 149 people in the Mediterranean

The LÉ William Butler Yeats has now rescued 258 people since deploying in July

Irish Navy rescues 149 people in the Mediterranean

LÉ William Butler Yeats Rescues 149 Migrants 47 Nautical Miles North East of Tripoli, 10-08-2017. Image: Irish Defence Forces

The Irish Navy has rescued 149 people from a rubber boat in the Mediterranean.

The migrants were picked up by the LÉ William Butler Yeats naval vessel around 47 nautical miles North East of Tripoli in Libya.

The two-and-a-half hour operation was completed by 11:15am this morning and the rescued people are now receiving food, water and medical treatment.

LÉ William Butler Yeats Rescues 149 Migrants 47 Nautical Miles North East of Tripoli, 10-08-2017. Image: Irish Defence Forces

The LÉ William Butler Yeats has now rescued 258 people since deploying to the Mediterranean on 14th July.

The vessel’s role is currently to provide search and rescue capability and undertake humanitarian missions at sea.

That mission could be set to change in the coming months however, after the government approved a proposal to transfer troops to participate in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy mission - ‘Operation Sophia.’

The mission will see Irish troops moving away from their humanitarian role and joining a military operation targeting gangs and vessels involved in trafficking refugees out of Libya.

L.É. William Butler Yeats Op Pontus 10 Aug

LÉ William Butler Yeats Rescues 149 Migrants 47 Nautical Miles North East of Tripoli, 10-08-2017. Image: Irish Defence forces