An Irish navy vessel rescued 109 migrants off Libya’s coast on Sunday, following a request from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre.
The LÉ William Butler Yeats took four hours to rescue the migrants off Tripoli, before providing food and medical treatment, the Irish navy said.
The rescued migrants were then transferred to the Italian Coast Guard. It was the new vessel’s first humanitarian search and rescue mission since being deployed on 14 July.
On the same day a government motion was passed in the Dáil (Irish parliament) to allow the Irish Defence Forces to join in on Operation Sophia in response to the EU’s ongoing migrant crisis.
The multilateral EU navy operation was set up in 2015, aimed at targeting vessels to stop gangs from human trafficking, mainly through Libya.