More than 10,000 refugees have been rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by Ireland’s Naval Service since they were first deployed to the area in May of last year, Newstalk.com reports.
The LÉ James Joyce rescued 594 migrants during the last week of July, including a young woman who named her newborn baby after the ship that rescued her off the coast of Libya.
The woman, who gave birth after being rescued, named her daughter ‘Joy’ after the LÉ James Joyce and in honor of its crew that gave her medical attention on board, reports the Irish Examiner.
“A young woman went into labor on board (LÉ James Joyce) and was transferred, under medical supervision, to the Italian Navy’s ‘ITS Bettica’,” the Irish Navy told its Facebook followers.
“The admiral in charge of ‘Operation Mare Sicuro’ presented his compliments to Officer Commanding LÉ James Joyce this morning and advised him that the young woman transferred to ITS Bettica (Thursday) had been safely delivered of a healthy baby girl. She has chosen to name her Joy.”
The post was greeted with many good wishes and praise to the crew.
“A big well done to all crew members of the LÉ James Joyce. All your families are so proud of you. Keep up the good work. 61 days until ye are home to us,” wrote one.
“Flying the flag with pride and compassion,” said another.
Paul Kehoe, Minister of State for Defence in the Irish government, praised the Naval Service for their role in assisting with the migrant crisis.
"I wish to congratulate the Naval Service for the excellent role they have played in saving the lives of so many migrants since Naval Service vessels were first deployed in May 2015. The Government and I are very proud of your efforts,” he said.
"The deployment of Irish Naval vessels to the Mediterranean to engage in humanitarian search and rescue tasks is an important element in Ireland's response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean," he added.