Two Alouette II helicopters accompanied the Godetia as she entered Zeebrugge docks. Like the Godetia, the Alouttes will be decommissioned at the start of next month after more than half a century of service. The crew were greeted by family members and loved ones. One person present told the press agency Belga that no fewer than three marriage proposals were made on the quayside, all of which were accepted.
The Godetia entered service on 23 May 1966 and after 55 years was ready for retirement. In 2024 the Belgian Navy will take delivery of new MCM (Mine Counter Measures” vessels. These have the space and facilities to house their own command facilities.
The Godetia has often carried out missions far from home, such as those of the coast of West Africa. The ship also took part in Operation Triton in 2015 and was able to rescue 645 people from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Her last mission got under way at the end of January. It took the Godetia to the North and Baltic Sea as a command and supply vessels to the ships taking part in NATO mine sweeping operation.
A ceremony will be held in Zeebrugge on Thursday 1 July. This will mark the official end of the Godetia’s 55-year career as a Belgian Navy ship. The ship will then be taken to a breakers’ yard in Ghent, where she will be broken up.
During her long life the Godetia sailed 816,617.7 nautical miles. This is the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe almost 38 times.