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Horta ,  June 16, 2015

Government of the Azores works continuously to improve safety in the transport sector, ensures Vítor Fraga

The Regional Secretary for Tourism and Transport stated today in Horta that safety is one of the most valuable assets in the transport sector, ensuring that the Regional Government works continuously to enhance it.

"We are working continuously in order to enhance safety as well as to adopt any additional measures that may prove necessary so that similar situations do not happen again in regional ports," said Vítor Fraga. The government official spoke at the Legislative Assembly during an interpellation on the report regarding the accident with the vessel "Gilberto Mariano" at São Roque do Pico Port.

The Regional Secretary was questioned on the political accountability as well as on the confidence in the Chairman of the company Portos dos Açores. Vítor Fraga stated that there would be accountability for this situation, "if I or Fernando Nascimento, or anyone else, had been warned about a procedure that was being poorly adopted or that the equipment of the port was in a poor state of repair and had done nothing to solve the problem."

In this regard, the government official assured that "this situation has never occurred before." In fact, the same type of maintenance and inspections has been carried out in Azorean ports for 30 years. They have been always effective until the day of the accident, because we have never had any tragic situation that endangered the safety of people and goods."

Vítor Fraga also stressed that "a study is being conducted by an external entity in order to define the appropriate size of the bollards and the ramp [roll-on/roll-off] in some relevant aspects, such as the type, capacity and location, based on the mooring diagrams of the vessels "Mestre Simão" and "Gilberto Mariano." According to him, this study should be completed "by the end of this month or during the month of July."

The Regional Secretary added that the Government commissioned to the Institute of Welding and Quality "a study for the full clarification of the condition status and mechanical properties of a bollard similar to the one that collapsed on November 14. It also requested the extension of the scope of this study with the aim of carrying out tests and analyses to assess the strength of the same bollard as well as to verify the information on the elements that were originally included in the construction project of São Roque Port, which dates back to the 1980s."

Vítor Fraga also revealed that "the survey on the condition of all bollards was already carried out at the ports of the "Triangle" islands (Pico, Faial and S. Jorge), with documentary and photographic records."

"In order to ensure preventive maintenance and correct the lack of maintenance registration, the Regional Port Authorities have already adopted the "ManWinWin" software, which is designed to manage the registration and maintenance of all elements, including mooring equipment," said the government official.
According to Vítor Fraga, the Government "adopted the inspection plan developed by the US military for mooring equipment 'Unified Facilities Criteria Experimental of Marine Hardware' with relevant adjustments. In this particular case, a specific team was created to oversee its implementation in all Azorean ports. The team will also be in charge of carrying out regular inspections of all bollards at passenger transport ports, freight ports and at the marinas that under the administration of Regional Port Authorities.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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