Ireland to send another naval vessel to help with Mediterranean crisis

It follows a similar mission last year, which saw 8,592 people rescued

Ireland, naval vessel, Mediterranean, crisis, Simon Coveney, LE Roisin, Defence,

The L.É. Samuel Beckett | Image: Facebook/Irish Naval Service

The government is to send another naval vessel to the Mediterranean to help with the humanitarian crisis.

The acting Defence Minister Simon Coveney secured approval to despatch a vessel with a crew of approximately 60 personnel.

They will undertake humanitarian search and rescue tasks in the Mediterranean, subject to finalisation of operational arrangements.

Following the decision, Mr Coveney said: "The humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean continues to be of great concern to Ireland and to our EU partners".

"I am anxious that we would resume support to Italy in the search and rescue activities in the Mediterranean", he added.

It is expected the vessel will begin its duties within the next month. The proposed deployment will involve naval vessel rotation.

The Department of Defence says: "Subject to the operational demands and requirements of the mission, it is intended that there will be two rotations (i.e. three Naval Service vessels deployed) with each deployment lasting approximately 12 weeks".

The first vessel to deploy will be the L.É. Róisín.

The role is said to be similar to that undertaken in 2015, when the L.É. Eithne was deployed to the Mediterranean on May 16th to assist Italian authorities.

Two further vessels were subsequently deployed: the L.É. Niamh and L.É. Samuel Beckett.

A total of 8,592 migrants were rescued over that period.