The LÉ Niamh is this evening setting course for the Mediterranean sea to replace LÉ Eithne, which has been operating in the area for the last two months.
LÉ Eithne was part of an international fleet tasked with rescuing immigrants attempting the perilous crossing between North African and Italian shores. The ship helped rescue just short of 3,400 people from the treacherous waters that have claimed thousands of lives in recent times.
LÉ Eithne has already departed for its home port and is scheduled to arrive in Ireland next week.
Its replacement, LÉ Niamh, carries a crew of 55 Naval Service personnel and two medics from the Army Medical Corps. The vessel is expected to remain in operation around the waters between Sicily and Lybia until September.