The former naval vessel, LÉ Aoife, left Cork Harbour this morning bound for Malta where she will form part of the country's fleet, taking part in humanitarian rescue operations as well as coastal protection duties in the Mediterranean.

As she sailed past the naval headquarters at Haulbowline for the last time this morning, her crew exchanged salutes with those of LÉ  James Joyce.

Built in 1979 at Verolme dockyard in Cork, the former Irish Naval vessel was one of the first purpose built patrol vessels built for the Naval Service.

It will now be known as 'P62'.