German corvette leaves EUNAVFOR’s Operation Sophia

German Navy corvette FGS Ludwigshafen am Rhein has bid farewell to ships from EUNAVFOR’s operation in the Mediterranean Sea, code-named Sophia.

The ship is scheduled to return to her homeport in Warnemünde, Germany on April 8.

Since Ludwigshafen left her homeport January 11, she has sailed 14.910 nautical miles during the three month deployment.

65 sailors were led by Lieutenant Commander Marco Köster. During their time spent in operation Sophia, the crew was not only tasked with maritime reconnaissance.

The ship saved a saved a total of 523 lives by rescuing migrants from unseaworthy vessels.

“I am incredibly proud of the excellent performance my crew pulled off. This atypical mission put my ladies and gentlemen through special physical and psychical challenges, but they passed the test with flying colors”, Lieutenant Commander Köster said.

Launched on June 22, 2015, following a European Council decision, EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia contributes to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Central Mediterranean and prevents further loss of life at sea.

The mission has so far contributed to the rescue of around 12,000 people at sea.