Yesterday, June 25, 2022, the frigate Luigi Rizzo returned to La Spezia at the end of the operational commitment in the Gulf of Guinea which lasted 124 days after having traveled about 18.000 miles, helping to ensure the freedom of navigation and the safety of maritime communication lines.
Although geographically distant from our country, the Gulf of Guinea is of fundamental importance for national interests from an economic, geopolitical and energy supply point of view. Having become the hotspot of maritime piracy in recent years, the Gulf of Guinea is at the center of the efforts of coastal countries and the international community to eradicate this crime and allow the free and sustainable use of the sea and its resources for the development of economic activities and trade for the benefit of the global economy and the more than 500 million inhabitants who populate the 2000 nautical miles of gulf coasts.
Of particular importance was the intervention conducted by Nave Rizzo in the night between 3 and 4 April to help the merchant Arch. Gabriel, a unit flying the flag of the Marshall Islands and victim of a pirate attack approximately 280 miles south of Lagos, Nigeria. The intervention of the Navy unit ensured the safety of the crew and the return of control of the ship to its commander. During the period of the presence of the Italian unit in the area, no abductions of seafarers were recorded, unfortunately a recurring event in past years and a source of great concern for seafarers.
Thanks to the intense and fruitful collaboration with the national maritime cluster, numerous anti-piracy exercises were carried out with the collaboration of the ships flying the national flag, using the organic helicopters on board to send the boarding team of the marine brigade Saint Mark (BMSM).
On his return to La Spezia, headquarters of the command of the first naval division on which the unit depends, Nave Rizzo she was welcomed, among the notes of the departmental band of the north maritime command, by the family members of the crew members ready to hug their loved ones again after the long voyage.