Spanish frigate returns from Mediterranean Sea rescue mission

Photo: Spanish Navy

Spanish Navy frigate ESPS Navarra (F-85) returned from her Mediterranean Sea deployment after spending four months saving lives at sea and preventing human and weapon smuggling.

By returning to Rota Naval Base on January 31, Navarra concluded her deployment to EUNAVFOR operation Sophia, aimed at fighting human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to the Spanish Navy, the F-85 took part in 19 rescue operations saving a total of 2,675 people, neutralizing 37 craft and conducting 27 air reconnaissance missions.

Navarra was the fourth warship deployed by Spain in this mission. During the deployment the frigate also gathered important intelligence on the modus operandi and business model of the criminal networks trafficking with humans in the Mediterranean.

EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia is a multinational mission set up by the European Union in May 2015 to search and rescue migrants. The mission has so far saved the lives of more than 30,000 people.

The F-85, with a complement of 200 people, is the fifth unit of the six Santa María-class frigates built in Ferrol and delivered to the Spanish Navy in 1993. She is equipped with the necessary sensors and weapons to operate as a blue water escort.

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