The British Island-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Orkney, decommissioned in May 1999, was sold to Trinidad and Tobago and had been recommissioned as the Nelson when this photo was taken in January. A month earlier, the Ministry of Defence released a request for bids for up to five replacements for its remaining Island-class units, which were completed in the late 1970s. Intended primarily for fisheries protection duties, the new OPVs may be leased from the builder rather than bought outright. The 200-foot, 1,280-ton Nelson displaces more than the rest of the modest Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard fleet combined and provides the country's first deep seagoing patrol capability. The former U.S. Coast Guard 82-foot Point-class cutters Point Bennett (WPB-82351) and Point Meyer (WPB-82369), transferred to Trinidad and Tobago on 12 February 1999 to become the Corozal Point and Crown Point, respectively, were joined by the former Point Bonita (WPB-82347) on 14 November 2000, and the Point Highland (WPB-82333) is due to transfer this July.
Six former German Navy Type 351 mine countermeasures drone-control ships are seen here on board a barge departing Wilhelmshaven on 25 January 2001, bound for the Republic of South Africa, which plans to recommission at least four—and possibly all six—of the 488-ton ships. Because Germany did not offer any of the 18 Seehund-class drones intended to operate with the class (they are needed for operations with the recently converted Type 352 drone controllers until a replacement class can be acquired), the Type 351s will be of little use to South Africa in mine countermeasures duties; they lack a sonar and carry only a simple wire sweep array. Instead, the South African Navy reportedly will operate the wooden-hulled ships primarily as Offs. The former Schleswig, Duren, Konstanz, and Wolfsburg, all stricken on 29 September 2000, and the Paderborn (stricken 30 June 2000) and Ulm (stricken 21 September 1999) retain a single 40-mm Bofors gun. The German Navy no longer operates any of the 18 ships of the class, all built in the late 1950s; most have been transferred abroad for further service, to such countries as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Georgia.
The Danish Navy's 1,970-ton OPV Beskyterren was retired during June 2000 and recommissioned in the Estonian Navy on 21 November 2000 as the Admiral Pitka. The rugged, quarter-century-old veteran of many North Atlantic deployments has retained her shielded, U.S.-made 76.2-mm single-fire gun (the largest weapon in Estonian naval service) and the AWS-6 air-search radar, which has its antenna mounted in a large radome atop the enclosed crow's nest on the foremast. The 245-foot Admiral Pitka can maintain 18 knots and retains facilities for a small helicopter. Most of the Estonian fleet has been donated by other Baltic-region countries. Other patrol assets include two elderly former Finnish Navy submarine chasers transferred in 1999 and a Russian Zhuk-class patrol launch acquired in 1992. Germany donated two 1950s-vintage Type 331B mine hunters during 2000; these joined two Type 394 inshore mine hunters donated in 1997. This January, a third Type 331B went adrift in bad weather south of Sweden while under tow to Tallin for use as a spare parts source. Estonia's Maritime Border Guard has a somewhat larger and more modern fleet.