Dutch OPV HNLMS Zeeland wraps up four-month Caribbean stint

Photo: Royal Netherlands Navy

The Royal Netherlands Navy offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Zeeland concluded her deployment to the Dutch overseas territories in the Caribbean, returning to her homeport in Den Helder on Friday.

The Holland-class vessel spent four months stationed in the region as part of a rotational Dutch Navy deployment to the Caribbean.

HNLMS Zeeland’s most important mission during the deployment was to provide emergency relief to hurricane-affected territories between August and October.

The ship delivered aid to the islands of Dominica and St Maarten which were struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria. In Dominica, Zeeland’s NH90 frigate helicopter carried out reconnaissance missions and picked up wounded to carry them to the hospital.

In total, Zeeland produced 154,300 liters of drinking water for the islands and delivered 24,000 kilos of high energy biscuits in addition to 19,500 kilograms of other food.

The ship also recovered 600 kg of cocaine from the Caribbean Sea which had been thrown overboard by the 3-man crew of a go-fast boat. The trio and the contraband were handed over to the local authorities on Curaçao.

HNLMS Zeeland is replaced in the Caribbean by the Karel Doorman-class frigate HNLMS Van Speijk (F828) which headed for her forward-deployed base on October 29.

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