The Commander of an Irish naval vessel deployed in the Mediterranean has been speaking of the emotional toll the work takes on his crew.
The LE Niamh is currently docked in Sicily, after its latest mission saw it help to rescue 329 refugees last week.
Crew members will soon be headed home, and the ship will be replaced by the LE Samuel Beckett.
Commander Ken Minihan said it is a tough task, but can be very rewarding.
"When you see a child who has been saved, and the expression on their face, of fear, but you can allay that fear to a certain extent by reassuring them that they are going to be safe," he said.
"We even have colouring books on board that we give to the children.
"The attitude of the children from when they come on board to when they leave the ship changes dramatically - they become much more joyous knowing they're going to be saved."