WALVIS BAY: Namibia on Monday marked the end of an era of one of its first Naval warships, the Nuclear Ship (NS) Lieutenant-General (Lt-Gen) Dimo Hamaambo.
The now-decommissioned ship was donated to the Namibian Government by the Brazilian Government, and was named after Namibian hero, the late Lt-Gen Dimo Hamaambo, who was the army commander of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) during the country’s war for liberation.
Hamaambo was Namibia’s first Chief of the Defence Force.
“Today we mark the end of an era of one of the oldest artifacts afloat. It is an occasion cognisance of the contribution the ship has made and the significance it has left in the history of our Navy,” said Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Peter Vilho during the decommissioning of the vessel.
Vilho indicated that the NS Lt-Gen Dimo Hamaambo was refurbished to be at sea for only two years, where after a major overhaul on the hull structure, main and auxiliary engines, piping and wiring system would follow.
However, several factors, mainly financial constraints, rendered the process impossible.
“As the saying goes ‘every beginning has an end’, and today marks the end of a long journey for this iron maiden,” said Vilho.
Then known as ‘Purus’, it was constructed in 1953 and decommissioned in 2002 after it sailed 494 000 nautical miles and being at sea for 2 092 days for the Brazilian Navy. It was donated to the Namibian Government in 2004.
During its tenure with the Namibian Navy, the NS Lt-Gen Dimo Hamaambo sailed 5 127 miles and had been at sea for 24 days, including the trans-ocean voyage and a successful territorial sea trip to the south of Namibia.
The NS Lt-Gen Dimo Hamaambo vessel was used as a coastal patrol ship, and was replaced by the multi-million-dollar Nuclear Ship (NS) Elephant (S11) that arrived at the Port of Walvis Bay on Monday after a one-month long voyage from China to Namibia.
The NS Lt-Gen Dimo Hamaambo will be handed over to the Ministry of Works and Transport within seven days, ready for auctioning.