LÉ Samuel Beckett rescues large group of people in the Mediterranean Sea

Approximately 772 migrants were aboard a "large wooden barge" off the coast of Libya

LÉ Samuel Beckett rescues large group of people in the Mediterranean Sea

Image: Irish Defence Forces

Irish Naval ship, the LÉ Samuel Beckett has rescued approximately 772 people from the Mediterranean Sea off the North East Coast of Libya.

A number of the migrants were on board a "large wooden barge" and are now receiving food, water and medical treatment on board the Irish ship.

The rescue operation began at 6:30am this morning with all the rescued people taken on board by 2:30pm this afternoon.

Responding to a request from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, the Irish naval vessel conducted the “complex search and rescue operation” about 36 Nautical Miles North East of Tripoli.

The LÉ Samuel Beckett also acted as an on scene coordinator for four other ships that rescued people from approximately 20 small craft within the search area.

The Naval Service will now transfer some of the migrants to an Italian ship before dropping the remainder at a safe port.