The crew of LÉ Samuel Beckett is on its way to the Mediterranean to take over migrant rescue operations from LÉ James Joyce, which is expected to arrive back in Haulbowline on September 30.
Amongst LÉ Samuel Beckett’s 57-strong crew are sailors who will be on their second mission to help save migrants who are being forced into deathtrap craft by gangs of brutal people-smugglers based in Libya.
It is the ship’s second deployment on the humanitarian mission.
It is being captained by Lieutenant Commander Darragh Kirwan who said: “I’m very proud to be taking LÉ Samuel Beckett out on this mission. The ship’s company has worked very hard to get ready for this mission and are trained and well prepared.”
“Last year’s trip was personally very rewarding and I look forward to this which is my second mission and hope it will be as safe and successful as last year’s,” Lieutenant Caroline Scanlon, who is from Dublin, said.
Able Cook Niall Daly, from Tullamore, said he had been part of this ship for two years since it was commissioned.
“For me completing a second trip is a great opportunity and way for me to finish my current sea rotation before I go ashore,” he said.
He’ll be kept busy preparing food for the crew and high energy meals for all the migrants they rescue, many of whom are malnourished.
Last year its crew, who all volunteer for the mission, were involved in five major operations off the coat of Libya, rescuing 1,088 people.
Since the Naval Service started the humanitarian mission on May 16, 2015, it has saved 12,410 migrants.
Meanwhile, LÉ James Joyce, which is captained by Lieutenant Commander Neil Manning, departed Malta yesterday where the ship had onboard supplies ahead of its journey home.
The crew of the vessel has saved 2,491 migrants during a three-month deployment.
There will be celebrations when the crew is united with family next Friday morning.
It will be a big day at the naval base as in the afternoon six new officers will be commissioned. A plaque will also be unveiled to commemorate the crew LÉ Cliona.
Some acted with extreme bravery in 1962 when the ship went on fire after a depth charge exploded prematurely during an exercise in Cork harbour.
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