Former trawler «Portugal Primeiro» is already moored next to the pier in Portimão

Vessel full of history was being recovered at the shipyards on the other side of the Arade

The former trawler «Portugal Primeiro» is now moored next to the Gil Eanes pier, in Portimão, in the place where, in the heyday of purse-seine fishing, sardines were unloaded.

After a profound restoration process coordinated by the Museum of Portimão, which o Sul Informação told in this video report, the old trawler crossed this Thursday, the 27th of July, the Arade river, after being dumped at the shipyards, on the left bank, where today the fishing port is located, to the right bank, in the riverside area of ​​the city .

A short river crossing that, even so, was not free of mishaps: halfway through the trip and with the tide going down, the «Portugal Primeiro» ran aground on a sandbar. But the efforts of the other vessels that helped with the crossing were crowned with success, and the centuries-old trawler continued on to the place where it is now moored.

Isabel Soares, director of the Museum of Portimão, told the Sul Informação that, «despite not being a museum yet, we wanted to bring Portugal First to this place so that people can already see and get to know it». For now, the vessel will be prepared to serve as a stage for the historical recreation of the unloading of the sardines, which will take place there on the morning of 1 August.

In the future, it will be at Cais Gil Eanes that the old trawler will be moored and accessible to visitors. Before that, it will have to be put into a museum, while the quay which is, as Isabel Soares underlined, «historical», will be «requalified».

The objective of this whole project promoted by the Museum of Portimão is «to reinforce the importance of fishing, namely purse seine fishing, wooden shipbuilding and even the commercialization of fish», said the official.

The «Portugal Primeiro» was built by the industrial cannery and ship owner Júdice Fialho, in 1911, in a shipyard in Vigo, Galicia, having started out as a steam galleon for sardine fishing. But, in 1948, it switched from steam to a diesel engine and became a trawler.

Now, thanks to a project by the Museum of Portimão to restore this century-old vessel, it will be a new Museum Nucleus, on the banks of the Arade.



Photos: Sul Informação | Videographer: Portimão Museum


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