Yesterday, the Irish Navy’s vessel LÉ EITHNE successfully located and rescued a small craft with 12 persons on board that was in distress 30 miles north of Lampedusa, the largest of the Italian Pelagie Islands.
After departing Palermo, LÉ EITHNE received a PANPAN distress message relayed by Italian Search and Rescue Authorities of a small craft missing in the Mediterranean with 12 persons on board. A number of other vessels had been tasked with assisting in the search.
The Navy used extra lookouts and search patterns to comb the area where the vessel was last seen and at 8 am local time yesterday morning the vessel was spotted by the watch on deck.
LÉ EITHNE launched an immediate rescue effort and the 12 people were successfully recovered, dehydrated but alive. The vessel a fibreglass hulled boat, with a single outboard engine, approximately 6 metres in length, had departed Tripoli five days ago and was found with no fuel, food, or water on board.
Afterwards, the navy vessel set its course to a larger vessel to transfer the rescuees for the onward administrative processing by Italian authorities.
This is the fourth successful operation the LÉ EITHNE has undertaken since its departure from Cork on May 16, bringing to a total of 649 migrants saved since commencing operations.
Image: Irish Defence Forces