On September 20th, the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Centinela’ returned to her home port in Ferrol (NW Spain) after having participated in the ‘Armada Heritage Week 2023’; an event that commemorates in Sligo (Donegal county) the death of more than 1,000 sailors in 1588 during the shipwrecks that followed the attempt of the Spanish Armada to invade England.

The celebrations, organized by the ‘Spanish Armada Ireland’ Association consisted of different commemorative events in which the crew of the ‘Centinela’ paid tribute to the Spanish sailors who died in that tragic episode at the end of the 16th century. Different acts were scheduled in the monument erected to commemorate the Spanish Armada shipwrecks in the city of Killybegs; also meetings and historical conferences in Sligo and processions on the beach of Streedagh in Grange. All these activities served to remember the tragedy that our seafaring predecessors suffered in 1588.

Due to the significance of the event, one of the attendees to the ‘Armada Heritage Week 2023’ was the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Ion de la Riva, who after finishing the main ceremony on Streedagh beach (Grange), proceeded to visit the patrol ship ‘Centinela’ docked in Killybegs to conduct an official visit.

The ‘Armada Heritage Week’ is a national Irish event that, thanks to the daily effort and commitment of the ‘Spanish Armada Ireland’ Association, is gaining more and more popularity in Irish society, demonstrating every year the importance of the episodes carried out by the Spanish sailors through history.

The offshore patrol vessel ‘Centinela’ is integrated into the Maritime Action Force, which as part of the Fleet, and is made up by a series of units whose main task is to protect national maritime interest areas and the control of the maritime spaces of Spanish sovereignty. These vessels are assigned, with a comprehensive approach, with the task of ensuring the permanent cooperation with the different agencies of the Spanish Administration with responsibilities in the maritime domain. In this way, the Spanish Navy actively contributes to the State Action at Sea.