The ship "Oriku" and its crew faced a growing influx of illegal migrants while patrolling the Aegean Sea.
In just three days four different inflatable boats were stopped with about 140 Afghans and Syrians on board, half of them women and children who every day endanger their lives in the waters between Turkey and Greece.
The Albanian defense minister, Olta Xhaçka, has published a video on her Facebook profile in which she states that the 30 children aboard the boats have been safely returned to the mainland, thanks also to the help of the ship's crew "Oriku ".
According to the minister, in collaboration with the coast guard of Turkey and Greece, the ship "Oriku" - part of the NATO operation "Sea Guardian" - in three days has collaborated in the rescue of four rubber boats. Since the 2016, that is when Albania has started to be part of the NATO mission in the Aegean, more than 2.000 are the men, women and children saved by the units of the Albanian navy.
Already about two weeks ago, 36 Afghan citizens were rescued by the ship "Oriku", which since July 12 returned on a mission to the Aegean Sea after the patrol period by the sister ship "Butrinti".
Oriku-Butrinti: the Albanian navy ships involved in the NATO mission
The ship "Oriku" was the first Albanian ship, in the 2017, to take part in a NATO mission. Last year, on the other hand, the ship "Butrinti" made its debut, replacing - until the 12 in July this year - the ship "Oriku" on patrols in the Aegean Sea.
Inaugurated in the 2014, at the naval military base of Pashaliman in Vlora, the 'Butrinti' is the fourth ship of the class 'Iliria' and follows its sisters Iliria, Lissus and Oriku.
Butrinti is the result of the collaboration between the Pashaliman shipyard and the Dutch shipyard and has significantly improved the capacity of the Albanian naval force to cope with maritime emergencies, search and rescue operations and the application of maritime law.