Irish naval vessel rescues 617 migrants during operations off Libya

LÉ James Joyce was involved in three operations with 13 vessels

Irish naval vessel rescues 617 migrants during operations off Libya

Image: Flickr/Irish Defence Forces

The Irish naval vessel the LÉ James Joyce has rescued 617 migrants during search and rescue operations north-east of Tripoli.

It followed a request from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre.

The ship successfully located and rescued the migrants in three separate vessels.

During the first operation, 15 migrants were rescued from a wooden vessel. The rescue started at 6.40am, and all migrants were taken on-board the ship.

They are now receiving food, water and medical treatment where required.

Image: Flickr/Irish Defence Forces

The James Joyce was then re-tasked to assist with the rescue of a further 150 people from two rubber vessels, 40 nautical miles north-east of the Libyan capital.

The second rescue commenced at 7.50am and all migrants are now on-board.

Another operation launched at 9.45am led to the rescue of 452 people from eight separate vessels at a similar distance from Tripoli. 

The LÉ James Joyce was subsequently tasked with transferring a further 140 migrants to the merchant vessel ASSROU. 

The ship departed on July 8th to assist Italian authorities with humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

It has rescued 1,111 people to date, excluding today's rescues.