A number of Portuguese newspapers are reporting that the Thomson Spirit, with over a thousand passengers aboard, became grounded while attempting to dock in the port of of Portimão, Portugal earlier this week. Portimão is located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. 

On the day in question, the Thomson Cruises ship sailed down the Arade River to dock at around 8:00 A.M. but spent approximately one hour and-a-half stuck in the silt. The cruise ship managed to dock at 9:20 A.M.  

Problems concerning silting in the Arade River are reportedly known to the local port administration. The riverbed has not been dredged for almost a decade.

Crew Center was the first website to report on the incident. 

Photo credit: Portimaocruises Blogspot

Main Schiff 1 MedevacThe Portuguese Air Force reports that yesterday, it rescued a passenger from the Mein Schiff 1 cruise ship, about 100 kilometers northwest of Montijo. The passenger, an 80 years old German woman, needed urgent medical attention, according to the official site of the Estado Maior da Força Aérea (EMFA).

The 751 Squadron at the Montija Air Base (approximately 35 kilometers from Lisbon) was alerted at around 9:00 P.M. After the rescue, the patient was transported to the Transit Aerodrome 1 in Figo Maduro, who transferred the woman to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lisbon..

In total, the medevac lasted until 2:05 A.M. This year, the EMFA states that it has rescued 20 people on ships and conducted about 98 hours of flight time under this type of mission.

Portugal does not have the equivalent of a Coast Guard like the U.S. Instead, the country has a special unit in its Air Force for emergency evacuation cases.

Thanks to António Costa from Portugal who brought this rescue to our attention.

Video Credit: Força Aérea Portuguesa YouTube

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=m01fdud5xQs%3Frel%3D0

 

MSC Cruise Ship - CocaineThe Crew Center website reports that two cruise passengers who arrived in Lisbon, Portugal from Brazil earlier this week were arrested for possession / smuggling of seven kilograms of cocaine.

The two passengers were Argentinean and had boarded an unidentified MSC cruise ship in Santos, Brazil. They arrived in Lisbon after a transatlantic cruise on a cruise ship to Lisbon in possession of the drugs.

The arrests took place in the cruise terminal of Santa Apolonia, as the two men disembarked the cruise ship into the Portuguese capital.  The men were around 40 years old. The cocaine was reportedly contained in wrapped packages that the men were carrying in two backpacks.

 

Photo Credit: Crew Center