Friday, October 28, 2016

EU Warships Do More Than Just Anti-Piracy Patrols Around Horn of Africa

Spanish Crew Visit School and Deliver Donated Money
Shipping News Feature
DJIBOUTI – The warships of the EU NAVFOR anti-piracy patrol always graced our pages with articles detailing their actions against brigands preying on the worlds shipping as it passed around the Horn of Africa and through the Red Sea. That battle now has been largely won, or at least deferred, with pirates forced to cease operations all the while the effective patrols are in place. However, sailors in the taskforce also contribute to the local region in more ways than just providing security. During her port visit to Djibouti earlier this week, sailors from Spanish warship, ESPS Relampago, visited the school Couvent de la Nativité, managed by Franciscan Missionaries of Notre Dame.

The Spanish sailors were shown around the school and introduced to the children, and the commanding officer donated money which had been collected by ‘Caritas Castrense’ and ‘Asociacion Nuestra señora del Carmen’, two religious associations in Spain. As well as the monetary donation, the Spanish crew also gave over school materials, such as pencils and books, which were donated by students of Colegio de Huerfanos de la Armada, a Spanish Navy school in Madrid.

After the visit, Relampago returned to sea to start her counter-piracy patrols with Operation Atalanta to deter pirate attacks and help ensure seafarers remain safe. According to the NAVFOR there hasn’t been an attack in its area of responsibility since 2014 nor a successful vessel seizure of a ship by pirates since 2012.

Photo: The crew of the Relampago enjoying their time ashore.