Updated: 30/09/16 : 07:13:31
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Navy's LÉ James Joyce returns from Mediterranean

The LÉ James Joyce (P62) returns to Cork later this morning after a three-month humanitarian tour of duty in the Mediterranean.

During the operation, the ship's crew rescued almost 2,500 people, and recovered 21 bodies.

LÉ James Joyce departed the Naval Service headquarters at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour on 8 July and was operational in the Mediterranean just over a week later.

Almost immediately the crew of 58 under Lieutenant Commander Neil Manning were involved in one of the most challenging missions of the Navy's operations in the region since the first deployment in May 2015.

On 22 July, the crew of LÉ James Joyce discovered the bodies of 16 migrants on board a metal barge.

Tightly packed below deck, they had died from suffocation and crush injuries.

In subsequent weeks, the crew rescued many migrants close to death and gave them medical attention.

One highlight of the tour was when a baby born to one of the people rescued was named Joy, to honour the crew of LÉ James Joyce.