The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Infanta Elena’ decommissioned March 17th after nearly 43 years of service with more than 730,000 nautical miles and 4,200 days at sea. The farewell ceremony will be presided over by the Commander of the Cartagena Arsenal, Vice-admiral Pedro Luis de la Puente who will be accompanied by other military and civilian authorities, as well as former commanding officers and crew members of the ship.
During her service in the Spanish Navy, the ‘Infanta Elena’ has participated in many operational deployments and international missions like those fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (2014 and 2018), Operation ‘Atalanta’ (2012) and the Gulf War (1991) implementing the UN embargo against Iraq. The OPV has also participated in numerous surveillance patrols and maritime security missions in national and international waters.
A highlight of her long career as a naval warship, was her participation in Operation ‘Atalanta’ when, off the coast of Tanzania, the OPV contributed to liberate the Sri Lankan-flagged trawler ‘Nimesha Duwa’ which had been hijacked for 6 months in Maldives waters. The trawler had been used as tender ship for Somali pirates in the East African coast.
The ‘Infanta Elena’ also expelled the treasure hunter ship ‘Endeavour’ off the coast of Málaga (2012) escorting her to Algeciras. In 2017 she participated in the rescue of 67 migrants in Cartagena waters and, more recently, in 2022 she recued the 3 survivors of a dinghy boat that sank near the Chafarinas Islands.