The Association of Ship Consignees and Stevedores of Las Palmas (Asocelpa), meeting today 29th April in a monographic Board of Directors, convened as a matter of urgency, has agreed to clearly and forcefully condemn the abusive and defenseless situation in which owner and consignee of the ship Wadowice II finds itself after having an incident in the waters of the bay of the Port of Las Palmas, very close to the coast. The pilot who was on board and the Boluda tugboat company claim one million euros each for their actions in this regard.
Asocelpa finds it hard to understand why the ship has been retained by the Maritime Court until it faces the economic claim, since the pilot service depends on the Ministry of Defense. Asocelpa understands, according to its professional career as an association of consignees for almost one hundred years, that there are no objective reasons to make a claim for a rescue in port waters, and less if it is carried out by two public services supervised by the Port Authority, such as services of pilot and towing. Never in the history of the Port of La Luz has a similar situation been occurred and we fear that this precedent will create a very negative international image of the Gran Canaria site, which may be considered unreliable due to this type of opportunistic actions.
Asocelpa supports in this regard the statements of the president of the Port Authority, Luis Ibarra, and urges him to take the measures that are within his competence to redirect this very serious process for the Port of Las Palmas: in the short term, warning the claimants that their abusive behavior not only damages the owner of the ship in question, but also the reliability of the Port of La Luz; in the medium and long term, promoting the pertinent change in regulations, possibly through the modification of the Ports Law, so that this situation of impunity does not occur again.
The performance of the pilot and the tugs is doubly serious because the vessel that prevented the Wadowice II from drifting towards the breakwater was the MasPalomas supply barge, which has not made any claims in this regard. On 26th April, the vessel in question was heading towards the breakwater at 09:45 hours and the skipper of the MasPalomas placed his boat at the height of the bow of Wadowice II. In fact, the claimant pilot was on board the ship and instructed the skipper to push the starboard bow to divert it from the course towards the breakwater. The Adriatic tugs and later the Tamarán of the Boluda group came when the Wadowice II was sailing safely south.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 29th April 2021