A ‘boating disaster simulation’ is to be held on Thursday, October 20 off the coast of Portimão to test whether authorities are ready to deal with this kind of potentially catastrophic situation.
The exercise will simulate the collision of a cargo ship with an oil tanker, resulting in an oil spill reaching local beaches.
At the same time, a fishing boat collision near the town’s port will be simulated.
Portimão was chosen as it looks onto the sea, a river and an estuary and has several maritime infrastructures – in other words, it has all the characteristics of a place where maritime disasters could happen.
“This is a region that would be seriously affected by an incident of this kind,” Portimão’s port captain Rui Santos Pereira told Jornal Barlavento.
The exercise will involve Portugal’s maritime authority (AMN), civil protection services, Sines and Algarve Ports Administration, Zoomarine theme park, the University of the Algarve, Portimão Marina, the Portuguese Air Force, the European Maritime Safety Agency, and Spain’s maritime safety agency.
The exercise is held every year in different parts of Portugal.
The initiative will also include a seminar taking place the day before (October 19) at Portimão’s municipal theatre TEMPO with several national and international speakers.