AMN anti-pollution exercise brought together Algarve entities in Portimão

Exercise took place between the 17th and 19th of April

The Directorate for Combating Sea Pollution, of the National Maritime Authority, organized, between the 17th and 19th of April, the annual exercise to respond to pollution incidents at sea “ATLANTIC POLEX.PT”, which this year brought together several Algarve entities in Portimão. 

In this edition, the exercise was based on the simulation of a collision between two merchant ships, a bulk carrier and the other carrying fuel, off the Port of Portimão, causing a fire, a rupture in the hull with a spill of fuel oil and, also, one injured on board and one shipwrecked.

The spilled product dispersed into two large patches of pollution that led to the port entrance, adjacent beaches and areas essential to the local economy, such as fishing grounds and various tourist activities.

On the first day of the exercise, April 17, simulated scenarios were carried out, namely the placement of containment and collection means, as well as protective barriers, due to the existence of pollutants in the sea and river, to prevent the pollutant from spreading .

On the second day, a seminar was held with the theme “Preservation of the marine environment”, in the Auditorium of the Portimão Museum, where various subjects centered on the theme of pollution of the marine environment were addressed, with the aim of sharing and articulating between all entities involved.

On the last day of the exercise, the remaining planned simulation scenarios for the maritime pollution incident were carried out, with various means being deployed, on land and at sea. In these actions, resources from the National Maritime Authority, the Portuguese Navy, the Port Administration of Sines and Algarve (APS), the University of Algarve (UAlg), Zoomarine, among other entities.

The exercise was also attended by the Director General of the Maritime Authority and Commander General of the Maritime Police Vice Admiral Carlos Ventura Soares, the President of the Administration of the Ports of Sines and Algarve (APS) Miguel Mourão, the Vice-Rector of University of Algarve Alexandra Teodósio, the Regional Director of Nature Conservation and Forests of the Algarve Joaquim Castelão Rodrigues, among other entities.

This edition had the support of the University of Algarve, the Portimão City Council, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, the Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation (IFCN), and also with the support and participation of several national and international.

In a note, AMN recalls that «the “ATLANTIC POLEX” is an annual exercise to respond to pollution incidents in the marine environment, in the different scenarios where an incident can occur: at sea (offshore), in the port, in marinas and in beach, and aims to train response procedures in case of regional level pollution occurrence of the Clean Sea Plan».