The French Navy vessel FNS Le Malin paid a week-long visit to Durban last month before returning to its home unit at Reunion, where it is tasked with maritime surveillance and protection.
The vessel arrived in Durban’s port on 13 April and departed on the 18th, after previously visiting Pemba in Mozambique.
According to the French consulate in Johannesburg, the FNS Le Malin was formerly a 1 200 ton long liner built in Gdansk by a Norwegian shipyard in 1997, but was seized by the French Navy on 23 June 2004 for illegal fishery and then confiscated by the French State. Due to its perfect condition and its potential (large storage volume, suitable accommodation for crew members), Le Malin was acquired by the French Navy in November 2005.
Refitted at Toulon in 2006, Le Malin was operated as a support ship for divers and commandos and then served as an auxiliary support vessel dedicated for the State action at sea.
From September 2010 to August 2011, it was modified by the Piriou shipyard to become a patrol vessel and from 25 October 2011, it has operated from La Reunion island. Le Malin is used to patrol the southern zone of the Indian Ocean.