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The oceanic patrol vessel (OPV) 'ATALAYA' rescues 36 migrants in the Alboran Sea

At sea
November 14, 2023
  • The Navy vessel rescues 36 migrants who had been shipwrecked in the Alboran Sea.

The oceanic patrol vessels (OPV) "Atalaya" (P-74) is carrying out a Maritime Vigilance and Security operation, where at dawn on November 14th, sea rescue services in Almeria issued an emergency message alerting the ships transiting the Alboran Sea, of the presence of a boat adrift with at least thirty migrants on board.

The oceanic patrol boat "Atalaya" proceeded to investigate the area, some 30 miles to the west of the island of Alborán, and together with the vessel "Ciudad de Melilla", detected the small boat.

Both vessels informed sea rescue services in Almería, who sent the vessel "Salvamar Gienah", based in the port of Motril, to assist the drifting vessel.

The navy patrol vessel stayed in the vicinity of the wrecked dinghy when it realised that all its occupants had fallen overboard. At that moment and without delay, the vessel activated all the rescue protocols, safety of life at sea and care for shipwrecked persons.

The result was the rescue of 36 migrants of Maghrebi origin who, once on board, were given medical attention for hypothermia and anxiety, shelter and food by the crew.

Finally, in the early hours of the morning, the 36 survivors boarded the sea rescue services vessel "Salvamar Gienah" for transfer to the port of Motril.

About  the  OPV Atalaya

The oceanic patrol boat 'Atalaya' depends on the Maritime Action Units Command in Ferrol and is attached to the Maritime Action Force (FAM). It is one of the main units of the Fleet and its main task is to protect national maritime interests, as well as the control of marine areas of sovereignty and national interest. In addition, with a broad vision, it ensures permanent cooperation with the various government departments with responsibilities in the maritime sphere, which constitutes the Navy's contribution to the State's action at sea.

With all these missions, the 'Atalaya' is considered an essential unit due to its capabilities to contribute to the actions required by the State at Sea. By making use of the available resources and using them efficiently, the warship provides the Maritime Action Force (FAM) with great added value.

In its thirty years of service, it has served in numerous deployments such as Africa Partner Ship, Noble Sentinel, Indalo  and maritime surveillance and security operations.

Maritime Action Force (FAM)

The FAM, which is part of the Fleet, is made up of a group of units whose main duty is to prepare for the protection of international naval interests and the control of maritime areas of national sovereignty and interest, taking charge, with a coordinated approach, of ensuring permanent cooperation with the various government departments with responsibilities in the maritime field, which constitutes the Navy's contribution to the State's action at sea.

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

The Maritime Operational Command (MOM) is the arm of the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence and responsible, at his level, for planning, conducting and monitoring permanent surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest. It is under the command of the Admiral for Maritime Action (ALMART) and is stationed in Cartagena.

Presence, Surveillance and Deterrence Operations

Presence, Surveillance and Deterrence Operations are an essential tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign spaces, enabling early detection of threats and providing an inmediate and effective response to a potential crisis.

The Army (MOT), Naval (MOM), Aerospace (MOA) and Cyberspace (MOC) Operational Commands make up the Permanent Command structure. On a daily basis, some 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in such operations under the operational control of the Operations Command.