Migrant crisis: German minehunter rescues 133 off Tripoli coast

German Navy minehunter FGS Datteln rescued 133 migrants 75 kilometers north-west of Tripoli, Libya on August 1.

The ship was initially tasked by the Force Headquarters to neutralize two empty rubber boats. While doing so, the ship’s crew spotted an overcrowded rubber boat in the vicinity.

Upon rescuing the migrants, Datteln handed them over to the Italian Navy patrol ship Commandante Cigala Fulgosi which will transport migrants to the Sicilian port of Augusta where they would be handed over to authorities.

German Navy minehunter Datteln departed naval base Kiel together with the tender Werra on June 20 to join the EU NAVFOR mission of saving lives and apprehending smugglers in the Mediterranean Sea.

The ships embarked a 12-man Finnish Marine team under a cooperation which started late 2015 and is to be continued until December 2016.

The tender’s crew is familiar with Operation Sophia as the ship spent four months with the mission in 2015. The upcoming deployment is also scheduled to last some four months, the ship is expected to return home in November.

While Werra is set to return home in November, Datteln will spend considerably more time deployed to the mission. The initial crew will go home after four months and a new crew will jump in to operate the ship.

As of August 1, 2016, German Navy ships have taken part in the rescue of 17.491 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.