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The offshore patrol vessel 'Infanta Elena' rescues a boat adrift with immigrants

In the Mediterranean
May 17, 2022
  • The Navy vessel, part of the Maritime Operational Command (MOM), and under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS), has rescued 3 people

The patrol vessel 'Infanta Elena', which is carrying out surveillance and maritime security patrols in the Mediterranean, the Alboran Sea, Spanish enclaves in North Africa, the Strait of Gibraltar and the territorial waters of Ceuta and Melilla, has rescued a boat with 3 immigrants of Algerian origin which was about 30 nautical miles from the Chafarinas Islands.

The boat had been adrift for between eight and ten days since they lost the engine with which they left some point in Algeria and at the time of the sighting its three occupants were using the oars. One of them was in a critical condition, presenting a serious medical condition on boarding, as well as symptoms of extreme dehydration, hypothermia, burns and cuts on different parts of the body. Thanks to the work of the medical staff, he was able to be stabilised.

Once they had been treated on board, they were taken to the port of Almeria where, after the patrol boat docked, they were taken in by the National Police and Spanish Red Cross personnel.

According to those rescued, a total of 11 people had started the journey, including a pregnant woman, the wife of one of the survivors. After drifting adrift without propulsion, food or drink, only the three rescued survived.

Maritime Operational Command (MOM))

MOM is the organisation of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff (CHOD), responsible for planning, conducting and monitoring surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest. It is under the command of the Admiral of Maritime Action (ALMART) based in Cartagena.

Armed Forces’ Standing Operations

Standing Operations are an effective tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign spaces, enabling early threat detection and enabling an immediate and effective response to a potential crisis.

The traditional Land Operational Command (MOT), Maritime (MOM), Aerospace (MOA) and the recently established Cyberspace (MOC) make up the Standing Command structure. On a daily basis, about 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in permanent operations, under the operational control of the Operations Command.

About patrol vessel 'Infanta Elena'

The offshore patrol vessel 'Infanta elena' is the third ship of the 'Descubierta' class. Built by ‘Empresa Nacional Bazán’ in November 1976. On January 2004 it was converted to its current configuration as an offshore patrol vessel. 'Infanta Elena' (P-76).

Based in Cartagena, its main tasks are maritime security, the fight against maritime pollution, the detection and monitoring of possible illegal immigration activities and collaboration with the State Security Forces and Bodies in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

The ship's commander is Lieutenant Commander Narciso Donoso Alonso and the crew for this navigation is 85 people, including Marines as Safety Operational Team from the ‘Tercio de Levante’ (TERLEV).