As we had received two different types of observations, we did a bit of research to determine if there was a record online of the vessels and according to the “Marine Traffic Website” Click here to go to marine traffic site, there is a record that the dredging vessel “FREJA R” would be in the Portimao area between the 25th and 28th of August 2014, but we could not find any information about the platform.
There hasn’t been any information divulged to the public, and taking into account that dredging of the Portimao Port has been in the news on and off for a couple of years, I would have expected a big “ra-ra” about it in the local and national press as it is of “national and regional interest”, but found nothing.
Update 30 August 2014: Aparently the dredging ship has been seen around Allbufeira.
This is the actual dredging ship "FREJA R" - seen around Albufeira
We mobilised our team and armed with a camera, they went to Praia da Rocha, and a little while later photos were taken of the platform which was located at approximately 5Km from the beach and visible from the shoreline. The photos are clear evidence of this.
This is the actual vessel in the water - Jack-up Platform - Offshore Operations Support Vessel.
About the Jack-up Offshore Operations Support Platform, and what is it Doing Here?
We have identified that the platform in the water is a Jack-up support vessel used for various offshore support activities such as accommodation for staff; construction support such as for example, the laying of gas pipelines; dredging, surveys, etc … One interesting fact that we ascertained is that these types of vessels are of the first vessels to be used in support of all types of offshore operations. The other interesting fact is that these type of platforms do not get moved very long distances normally unless they are being towed.
Now what offshore operations do we have currently running in the Algarve we have to ask? And what is this vessel doing in the waters off Portimao?
UPDATE: (30 August 2014)
We have been informed by the Portimao Capitania in writing that the Jack-up Platform requested authorisation to anchor and that they are in transit. We have asked a few more questions - for how long will it stay in Portimao? and if the final destination is in Portuguese maritime waters? - We will update this info as soon as we've received their reply.
UPDATE: (1 September 2014)
Unconfirmed report this afternoon that the platform is being towed in the west direction towards (Sagres), but destination still unknown.
A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE FOR THE ALGARVE?
We’ve been warning for approximately two years about the risk to the Algarve of the upcoming oil and gas exploration, we are running a petition; we have asked questions everywhere and received no answers, or if they replied it was non-satisfactory replies (I am being polite here)…
As a result, we are asking ourselves if this platform is part of the oil and gas offshore project for the Algarve South Coast? We will be monitoring the situation ...
We also received this photo which was taken on the 26 August 2014 by Sandra Gaia. Taken with a long lenz - between Praia da Rocha and Praia do Vau in Portimao. This platform is not dredging sand for the beaches between Lagoa and Albufeira, its in transit and has stopped off the coast of Portimao. But its a clear live example of what is in store for the Algarve.
Imagine 100’s of these platforms and a few hundreds of oil and gas rigs spread through out the Algarve coastline, is this what you as a local, and all our visitors want to see in the Algarve? How will it impact on your life, on your business, or on your financial stability? On our environment?
A SAMPLE OF WHAT YOU WILL SEE IN THE ALGARVE IF OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS GOES AHEAD
If you want answers, and if you are against it, like we and many thousands that have already voiced their discord are, then join our combined voices by signing the online petition, by downloading support material from our site, by donating to our campaign against the proposed oil and gas exploration, so that we have the necessary funds to keep on running it …
What can YOU do? Lots of things that you can help, here’s a list:
ASMAA campaigns are funded entirely by donations from members across the world. Will you chip in a few euros? Link: Click here for our Donation Page
DONATE VIA DIRECT BANK TRANSFER
Donate 10, 25, 50, 100 Euros or whatever amount you see as appropriate.
ELETRONIC BANK TRANSFER: ASMAA Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association
NIB: 0038 0000 40309681771 32 (If you are in Portugal)
IBAN: PT50 0038 0000 40309681771 32 (For International payments)
REFERENCE: SAY NO TO OIL AND GAS
The ASMAA Team