Irish naval vessel LÉ James Joyce sets off to assist rescue mission in Mediterranean

The LÉ Roisín is due to return to Ireland after rescuing 1,264 people

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LE James Joyce. Image: RollingNews.ie

The LÉ James Joyce is departing from Cork today to become the latest Irish naval vessel to assist the humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean.

The vessel, which is setting off from the naval base at Haulbowline, will be under the command of Lieutenant Commander Neil Manning.

There is a crew of 59 members of the Permanent Defence Force - including three medics - on board the LÉ James Joyce, and they are expected to be deployed in the Mediterranean until September.

It will replace the LÉ Roisín, which is due to return to Ireland next week after spending ten weeks assisting the Italian authorities in their search and rescue operation.

The crew of the Róisín has rescued 1,264 people during their deployment, and recovered three bodies. Irish naval vessels have helped rescued a total of 8,592 people so far.

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, said: “The humanitarian crisis continues to be of great concern to the Irish people, and the assistance provided by the deployment of these crews represents a tangible national contribution to humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean.

"To date, Irish participation has resulted in the recovery of nearly 10,000 migrants, clearly demonstrating the value of Ireland’s involvement in this important humanitarian response," he added.