„King Ferdinand” frigate, participating in the NATO Operation „Unified Protector”, conducted, during the night of Thursday to Friday, a rescue and humanitarian assistance mission, saving some 150 civilians in distress onboard a vessel in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the Ministry of National Defense (MApN), the small civilian boat, whose passengers were African immigrants, including 10 women and 15 children, had left the Libyan port of Misrata on May 9 and because of an engine failure and water seepage, it drifted about 100 marine miles north of Tripoli, in danger of sinking.
A team of technicians from the Romanian frigate crew boarded the vessel and provided the necessary assistance, so that the technical problems were resolved and the engine restarted, the water seepage being evacuated by a drainage pump from the hold of the vessel.
„King Ferdinand” crew also offered to the passengers of the vessel in distress food, water and the needed fuel to safely continue their journey at sea.
The Romanian frigate crew humanitarian action is in line with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) provisions, the NATO ships participating in the „Unified Protector” operation, with the mission to provide assistance to vessels in distress.
”King Ferdinand” frigate, which started operations on April 30, as part of the embargo enforcement against Libya, in the Mediterranean, has conducted some 70 specific missions.
The main missions of the frigate include patrolling and monitoring ships in the area of responsibility zone, query and control of ships suspected of transporting weapons and mercenaries to Libya.
The naval group under NATO command, which includes the Romanian frigate, is composed of 20 ships, and its general staff also has two officers of the Romanian Naval Forces.
On May 17-19, when the first phase of the mission in the maritime district is to end, the frigate will restore its operational capability in a port in southern Europe, established by the group’s command.