On the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, the OPV-83 “Marinero Fuentealba” landed in the capital of the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic Region after 12 days fulfilling maintenance tasks to the maritime signals present in the icy waters of the Chilean Antarctic Territory; He also delivered materials and food to those who are deployed in the different Chilean bases of the white continent.
Among the work carried out is the reconstruction of a light signal at Cape Renard, near the Bismarck Strait which was damaged after the harsh weather conditions of the place, as well as three blind beacons (without light; only for guidance during the day) were installed in Lockroy Port along with others in Punta Dedo and in the Neumayer Channel. Each of these tasks were carried out by this Unit and lighthouse specialist personnel of the Department of Maritime Signaling of the Maritime Government of Punta Arenas, dependent on the Third Naval Zone.
The Commander of OPV 83 “Marinero Fuentealba”, Commander Bernhard Arentsen, explained that “maintenance and construction of nine beacons was carried out in the area of the Chilean Antarctic Territory, which contributes to maintaining and increasing the presence of the Chilean Navy and providing security to navigation in that area of the planet.”
This latest deployment of the ship in the Antarctic Commission 2022/2023 also included the transfer of food and equipment to the naval personnel of the “Arturo Prat” Base, “Captain General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme” Base, to the Chilean Antarctic Maritime Government and to the Chilean Antarctic Institute Base (INACH) Professor Julio Escudero.
Likewise, in conjunction with INACH operators, the withdrawal of the researchers of that Institution from the camp was carried out; each of these tasks were supported by Naval Helicopter 46, dependent on the Puerto Williams Naval Air Detachment.
It should be noted that the ship -dependent on the Third Naval Zone-, sailed on March 13 towards crossing the Drake Sea, an area characterized by the harsh weather conditions faced by sailors given the confluence between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In that sense, Commander Arentsen stressed “the importance of having spent two weeks in the Chilean Antarctic Territory with the endowment of this Unit, with which we have been able to increase teamwork and cohesion, especially that we are starting the year and with a view to the rest of the year.”
Finally, this last Antarctic Commission 2022/2023 of OPV 83 “Marinero Fuentealba” marks the end of maritime signaling tasks during this period, which allowed to maintain safe navigation routes for all vessels sailing through the cold waters of the white continent.