Spanish Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Furor will carry out maritime security tasks in waters of the Gulf of Guinea for three months, Spanish Navy announced.
On 9 March afternoon, the Furor left her base in Cartagena and set course for the west coast of the African continent, where she will conduct maritime security operations and defense diplomacy missions.
To guarantee the Security and Defense of Spain, the ship will carry out cooperation activities with some coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea, both at sea and in port, seeking to increase the military capabilities through training and advice in activities related to maritime security, contributing to reduce the existing risks in the area and increasing, in order to provide assitance to the stability of the region.
Additionally, the Furor will also support Spain’s foreign policy within the Defense Diplomacy Plan framework. With a series of activities based on strengthening ties and increasing mutual knowledge, the ship will show Spain’s commitments to allied countries, international stability, and the defense of our maritime interests, such as fishing or the traffic of oil and gas supplies in a susceptible region. The deployment also includes participation in the European Union’s CMP (Coordinated Maritime Presence) concept in the Gulf of Guinea and joint patrols with units from the coastal countries.
Within the activities included in the Defense Diplomacy plan, the ship is scheduled to visit Noaudhibou (Mauritania), Tema (Ghana), Lagos (Nigeria), Douala (Cameroon), Port Gentil and Libreville (Gabon), and Dakar (Senegal).
OPV’ Furor’ has a specific contingent for the mission of 63 men and five women, including the ship’s crew (54 people), a Marine Corps VPD (Vessel Protection Detachment), and other commissioned personnel, including an interpreter, a doctor, and a diving instructor.
The Gulf of Guinea is one of the most dangerous regions globally in terms of piracy. According to a report this month by the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center, last year, pirates hijacked three vessels, fired on 11, and boarded 161, according to a report this month. Crime on the high seas is hard to deal with because distances are vast, and the pirates can make their getaways before help arrives.
About the offshore patrol vessel Furor
The Furor is the sixth offshore patrol vessel of the Meteor’-class that Navantia built for the Spanish Navy in its Ferrol shipyards.
These OPVs’ primary mission is Maritime Interdiction Operations; that is to say the implementation of measures to monitor and prohibit people and goods’ transit within a defined geographical area. They usually consist of the interception and, if necessary, the boarding of ships to verify their cargo if economic or military sanctions have been previously imposed.
The ship is also prepared to carry out surveillance, SAR (search and rescue) and marine pollution control missions in collaboration with other State departments with responsibilities in the maritime domain.