The French Navy Ship Albatros will visit St Helena from Tuesday 16 to Wednesday 17 June 2015. The vessel, captained by Commander Riaz Akhoune, is calling at the Island en route from Reunion Island to Brest, France, where she will be decommissioned. Her visit therefore represents one of her last voyages as a naval ship.

The Albatross will arrive at the Island at 8am on Tuesday morning. During her stay in St Helena’s waters, the ship’s company will take part in various activities on the Island, including a short ceremony at Napoleon’s Tomb, where some troops will attend in arms. This is planned to take place at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The Captain and other personnel will also meet Acting Governor Sean Burns and Mrs Burns. An official lunch will be held onboard the vessel for invited guests.

Members of the French Navy will also take advantage of a full Island tour before the FNS Albatros departs St Helena at 7pm on Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

The FNS Albatros’s normal work has been to monitor the exclusive economic zones adjacent to Southern France and to provide support to other vessels in the French fleet. She also participates in general tasks of the armed forces of the southern zone of the Indian Ocean, in an area of French responsibility.

Notes for Editors

FNS Albatros is a former large freezer trawler from the fishing company ‘NEVE’, of Normandy, France. She was built in 1967 and purchased by the French Navy in 1983, when the ship was streamlined and transformed in Toulon, where she was fitted with additional units, artillery and electronic equipment.

The ship’s characteristics:

• Length: 85 m

• Breadth: 13.5 m

• Displacement: 2800 tons

• Armoury: one 40mm gun and two 12.7 mm machine guns

• Regular Freight: transport and passengers

• Crew: Seven officers, 34 non-commissioned officers and nine seamen.

Captain Riaz Akhoune graduated from the French Naval School in 2000 and from Supélec, a French graduate school of engineering, in 2006. The Captain has 17 years of service with the French Ministry of Defence. He served on Frigates prior to his promotion to Commander in November 2013, and is a Knight of the National Order of Merit.

SHG

11 June 2015

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