SAS AMATOLA Returns from an Epic European Adventure

Article and photos by Able Seaman V.S. Khoza

22 April 2017

The South African Navy frigate, SAS AMATOLA, returned to Simonís Town Naval Base harbour on Saturday from a 96-day operational, commemoration and diplomatic visit to various European and African countries, known as Operation KETANE. The main purpose of Operation KETANE was to participate in the centenary commemoration of the sinking of the SS MENDI in the UK. Other activities around the commemoration included training with the Royal Navy, participation in Exercise Good Hope VII with the German Navy and diplomatic visits to four West African ports on the return trip.

SAS AMATOLA entering the harbour

On her return SAS AMATOLA visited Tema, Ghana, between 30 March and 3 April; Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, between 6 and 8 April; Luanda, Angola, between 11 and 13 April; and Walvis Bay, Namibia, between 17 and 19 April.

Family and friends awaiting the arrival of SAS AMATOLA

Family members and friends lined up in the Naval Base in Simonís Town to welcome the return of SAS AMATOLA. It was a beautiful morning with clear atmosphere, filled with tears of joy and laughter as the ship came alongside in the harbour where family, friends and colleagues welcomed the shipís company home after a long deployment.

Hugs and kisses


Reunited again

Some family members couldnít explain how they felt about the return of their loved ones, since they were still in disbelief and overjoyed by their return.