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Spanish Navy ship loses its way on cartographic mission

A Spanish Navy ship tasked with updating nautical charts to make navigation safer got stranded on Thursday near the island of Ibiza in the Mediterranean, the Navy said.

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The vessel Malaspina was exploring an area of shallows to the west of the island and got stuck on one of them. Rescue teams have been sent to help remove the vessel from the ground, the Navy said in a statement.

“After an initial inspection… no structural damage can be seen,” it said. No injuries were reported.

The Malaspina, built in 1975 and refurbished in 2007, has sailed more than 180,000 miles (289,680 km) collecting undersea topography data along the Spanish coast.

It is named after 18th-century Royal Navy Brigadier Alejandro Malaspina, famous for leading the largest scientific expedition around the globe at the time.

Alessandro Malaspina (1754–1810), brigadier of the Spanish Royal Navy. 19th-century painting by unidentified author. Photo: Public Domain

The name can also be translated into English as “having a bad feeling”, which seems quite appropriate given the circumstances..

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