Since her departure from her home port of Las Palmas in the Canary Isles on 15 July 2013, Spanish Ocean Patrol vessel, ESPS Meteoro, has certainly been very busy. The warship has sailed over 14,000 nautical miles and the crew has carried out a range of activities off the Somali Coast.
ESPS Meteoro commenced her counter-piracy patrols in the internationally recommended transit corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden. She has also carried out identification and recognition patrols on the north and east coasts of Somalia.
In order to better understand local seafarers’ concerns and to highlight to them the potential risks from pirates off the Somali coast, the ship’s boarding team has carried out over 75 ‘Friendly Approaches’.
To enable ESPS Meteoro to remain at sea on patrol, the ship has also carried out a number of replenishments at sea (RAS) with supply ships, to restock the ship with fuel, food and other supplies.
As part of EU Naval Force engagement with regional states, the ship has made port visits to Souda, Djibouti, Salalah and Fujairah.
Speaking about the first three months on counter piracy patrols, the Commanding Officer of ESPS Meteoro, Lieutenant Commander Juan Carlos Perez Guerrero, said :
“I am very proud of my sailors. We remain resolute and determined in our efforts to fight piracy and help make the seas safer for ships and fishermen off the Somali coast.”
ESPS Meteoro will sail for home in December.
Press Release, October 23, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR