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Irish Navy has rescued almost 500 migrants in Mediterranean

LE Eithne
LE Eithne

Almost 500 migrants have been rescued in two operations by Irish Navy crews in one day on the Mediterranean.

In the first 367 people, including nine children, were safely taken off a wooden barge in choppy waters about 50km (31 miles) north-west of Tripoli in Libya.

The rescue by the crew of the LE Eithne took about three hours to complete.

And in the second rescue the same crew took 100 migrants from a rubber craft about 70km from the Libyan capital in an operation that took about two and half hours.

All the migrants were kept on board the naval vessel and were put through medical checks and given food and water.

The vessel and crew were dispatched by the Irish Government in mid-May to assist Italian authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.