The Fragata Libertad opened its doors to the public

The Fragata Libertad opened its doors to the public

(Photo Florence Downes)

Numerous families and the general public visit this weekend the Fragata Libertad, which is getting ready at the naval post in Buenos Aires to set sail next Saturday on a five-month voyage in which it will visit 11 foreign ports in America and Europe.

The ship will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the North Basin of the port of Buenos Aires, on Avenida Antártida Argentina 1335, as part of open days organized by the Argentine Navy and the Ministry of Defense which, among other activities, includes presentation of the musical band of that force.

Starting at 2 p.m. this Saturday, numerous families took the opportunity to visit the frigate where they were received by the 317 crew members who will set sail in a week and who dedicate these days to guiding visitors through different sectors of the ship’s deck and explaining the operation of different artifacts, mechanisms or seafaring traditions.

While the crew members were always alert to point out the obstacles on the deck that could cause them to trip, dozens of children played with each other wearing cardboard caps that copied the design of the crew’s caps and were given out free of charge by the sailors.

Gisela is 32 years old and came with her husband and 6-year-old son from Avellanedashe told Télam that “at home we had little money but we wanted to take advantage of the fact that the day was beautiful to go out and do something, searching the internet we found that the frigate was open and since my husband remembered that he liked visiting it a lot when it was boy we decided to bring our son.”

Photos: Florence Downes

“I did not have a very formed idea before coming beyond what one always sees on TV about the Frigate, but being on top is something else, it is a very nice ship and everyone treats you well and answers all your questions, our son is fascinated”he added.

Jorge, a retired sailor who came from Morón with his wife, told Télam that “I am proud to have sailed on this frigate for more than thirty yearsall of us who sail on it keep some of the most beautiful memories of our lives from our days on board and that is why every time I find out that she is in Buenos Aires, I go to see her, even if it is from the street”.

Photo Florence Downes
(Photo Florence Downes)

“When one sees the young midshipmen here with their impeccable uniforms waiting to set sail next week, they get excited remembering how we are in our time waiting to leave, I think it is very important that these spaces of open doors are generated so that people can know why it is the ship most loved by Argentines”, he added.

Lieutenant Commander Guillermo Donadío, responsible for the education of the 92 midshipmen who will sail from next Saturday to complete their naval training, stated in an interview with Télam that “during their time at the Military Naval School, the cadets learn many things that they need to be able to put into practice while sailing, and for that they embark on the frigate with the purpose of complement their professional training along with their teamwork and leadership skills that they require for their career within the Navy.”

“The journey that the cadets make in the frigate is the last step of their training before becoming officers, in these five months of navigation they must demonstrate that they acquired all the necessary conditions for their military career; here they will have academic training in the classroom but they will also have to do internships in all the sectors and tasks of the ship supervised by the officers and the crew”, he emphasized.

Photo Florence Downes
(Photo Florence Downes)

“My journey as a midshipman was in 2001 and being able to sail again today from this role in the formation is very gratifying because you feel that you have the opportunity to give back what you have learned, and these open days are always a joy because in each one of them the demonstration of affection and pride of the visitors is constant”, completed Donadío.

The ARA “Libertad” Frigate, Training Ship of the Argentine Navy, which next Saturday, April 30, will begin its 50th Training Voyage from the Buenos Aires Naval Station, is commanded by Captain Carlos Pedro Schavinsky; and leads the Midshipmen in Commission who are members of Promotions 150 and 151 of the Naval Command Ranking, 85 and 86 of the Marine Infantry Ranking, and 106 and 107 of the Professional Corps, Quartermaster Ranking, of the Naval Military School.

The crew of 317 people, of which 49 are women, is made up of 27 officers, 92 Midshipmen in Commission and 191 non-commissioned officers. In addition, 11 guests from training institutes of the Argentine Navy, other Armed Forces, universities and foreign Navies are on board.

The itinerary will start on April 30 and will last 5 months, visiting 11 foreign ports in America and Europe, where he will visit Dublin, hometown of Admiral William Brown. The journey will end on September 25 with its return to the city of Buenos Aires.

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