German minehunter returns from life-saving mission

German Navy minehunter FGS Datteln is set return to the navy base in Kiel on September 30 after a three-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

Datteln is currently on its way back from the European Naval Force’s operation Sophia which is aimed at fighting against human smugglers and traffickers in the Central Mediterranean sea.

Datteln departed Germany to join the mission on June 20 together with the navy tender Werra.

The ship’s 42-man strong crew was led by Corvette Captain Björn Fischer during the mission until they were relieved by frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in mid-September. Datteln clocked in 12,600 nautical miles during the deployment.

The minehunter was initially supposed to join a NATO standing maritime group and was subsequently assigned to the operation Sophia. This change of plan required the ship’s crew to undertake a thorough reorganisation. All minehunting equipment was to be offloaded to make place for equipment required for rescue operations.

Datteln saved a total of 607 migrants during its three months at sea.