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Thursday, July 20, 2006

More evacuation vessels

DoD press release here:
Ships and aircraft transported 1,200 citizens out of Lebanon to Cyprus yesterday. Of these, 161 "special needs" Americans left via choppers, and 1,066 sailed on the Orient Queen. DoD chartered the Greek-owned vessel for the operation.

In addition to the USS Nashville, the Saudi-owned, Panamanian-flagged Rahmah, with a capacity of 1,400 passengers, arrived in the region and will begin ferrying U.S. citizens to Cyprus tomorrow. The Italian ship Vittoria, with a capacity of around 330 passengers, also will begin operations in the next few days.

DoD officials said five more U.S. Navy ships will arrive at the scene in the next few days. The USS Iwo Jima will join the operation July 22. Officials expect to move around 4,000 evacuees tomorrow.

UPDATE: The Italian vessel is the "Vittoria M" a 300+ passenger high speed catamaran ferry.
UPDATE2: And the M/S Rahmah in an earlier iteration:

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