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Woman gives birth to baby Destiny after Irish Navy rescues migrants

Published 21/07/2015

The LE Niamh was en route to Palermo after two operations taking 370 men, women and children off the sea
The LE Niamh was en route to Palermo after two operations taking 370 men, women and children off the sea

A woman has given birth on board an Irish Navy ship as it took migrants ashore in the Mediterranean.

The new mother was on board the LE Niamh after being taken from another rescue boat when she went into labour four weeks prematurely.

After 63 minutes baby Destiny was born on the ship with mother and daughter said to be doing well.

The Irish Defence Forces said its crew transferred the pair to two doctors who were brought to sea by the Italian Coastguard.

The drama unfolded as the LE Niamh was en route to Palermo after two operations taking 370 men, women and children off the sea.

In the first, the crew rescued 235 men, 13 women and eight children from a wooden barge 56 miles north-east of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The vessel was then tasked to rendezvous with the MV Dignity, a ship operated by Medecins San Frontieres, to take another 62 women, 45 men and seven children it had on board.

The pregnant mother was one of those taken off the second ship.

She went into labour at 4.43pm and gave birth just over an hour later.

The Irish Defence Forces said 14 of the women transferred on to its ship were pregnant.

Destiny was delivered by Irish medics Paul O'Connell and Conor Kilbride.

The Irish Defence Forces said the new mother and her baby were being taken ashore by the coastguard for post natal care as quickly as possible in the Port of Trapani, Sicily.

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