After the shipwreck of the “Mestre Simão”, José António Soares, the mayor of Madalena, on the island of Pico, stressed it was important even for psychological reasons to have the wreck removed as soon as possible, two weeks after the grounding.
The mayor feared, however, the prolongation of the disturbance between Pico and also the island of Faial by the absence of maritime transport means which may carry cars. Car transport was one of the great innovations introduced by Atlânticoline in early 2014, when two ferries, both 40 meters long, began to operate in the Azores, offering not only private individuals but also companies, greater mobility between islands.
The market has been growing year by year and in 2017 alone, according to Atlânticoline statistics, almost 20.000 vehicles were transported between the islands throughout the year. year. After the grounding of the “Mestre Simão”, also the “Gilberto Mariano” was stopped, and the company was obliged to use the older “Cruzeiro do Canal” and the “Cruzeiro das Ilhas”, both built in the 1980’s and of smaller size and of smaller capacity of passengers, which do not allow the transport of vehicles.
An investigation was currently under way to determine the causes of the accident at Madalena do Pico. The master who operated the vessel that day was already heard by the authorities. The ship still had about 30 tons of fuel on board and remained to be drained, though part of the fuel in the tanks of the ship has spilled into the port of Madalena do Pico.
Source: Vessel Tracker