Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Canarias (F86) is on its way to join the EU Naval Force’s Operation Sophia.
The vessel departed its homeport of Rota Naval Base yesterday to take part in the efforts of decreasing illegal trafficking off the coast of Libya. Canarias will spend some three months on this deployment, from early October until January.
During the mission Canarias will board, search, seize and divert vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking on the high seas.
EUNAVFOR’s Operation Sophia is aimed at disrupting the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Mediterranean and to prevent the further loss of life at sea. It is part of a wider EU comprehensive approach to migration, tackling both the symptoms and root causes such as conflict, poverty, climate change and persecution.
Naval Today Staff, image: Spanish Navy