Wilhelmshaven – The 200 soldiers of the frigate “Hamburg” waited on the Mediterranean for months. No shore leave, no contact with other people. Now they are back – and landed in the middle of lockdown!
Yesterday morning at the naval base in Wilhelmshaven (Lower Saxony). The few relatives lose themselves on the pier, waving towels and sheets.
In August, the ship set sail as part of the EU operation “Irini” and checked compliance with the UN arms embargo against Libya in the Mediterranean.
“After almost five months on board, we cannot look forward to the carefree Christmas holidays as we had hoped,” says frigate captain Jan Fitschen (43), “but we have to deal directly with the effects of the Corona lockdown.”
That dampens the anticipation a little: “We weren’t allowed to get off the ship, but we were allowed more than many other people. We didn’t have to wear masks, we were allowed to eat together, we were allowed to hold celebrations on a larger scale. Nobody in Germany currently has these freedoms. “
Nevertheless: his team is happy to be able to spend the holidays with their families. Even if in a small circle.
“I’m happy to be back with my loved ones and to have solid ground under my feet,” says soldier Hannes Unger (29), who was received by his waving parents, to BILD.
“I have a big family. Usually we always partied together. This time only with my girlfriend and my parents in a small group, but it will also be cozy. I’m glad!”
And when will it be at sea again?
“Because of the Corona situation, there are still no plans for the next year. So it will be more spontaneous. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my time here on land. “