The administration of CV Interilhas (CVI) assured today that the vessel “Dona Tututa” is in the final stages of preparation for entering into service for the inter-island connections in Cape Verde, after the certification process.
“The process itself is complex and people sometimes have some anxiety, and we realize it naturally because they want to see things happen. A ship, like an aeroplane, its certification processes and procedures are not overnight. the other, because they are complex, must be very well scrutinized because all the interveners have a responsibility, mainly in the part of passenger safety, which we do not abdicate”, said Jorge Maurício to Lusa, chairman of the board of directors of the CVI.
CVI is led (51%) by Transinsular (Portuguese group ETE) and held in the remaining 49% by 11 Cape Verdean shipowners. valid for 20 years after an international public tender.
The new CVI ship arrived in Cape Verde in July and should start operating in September, according to the company’s previous forecast, which did not happen, continuing at the port of Mindelo, in São Vicente.
With 69 meters in length, the “Dona Tututa” is capable of reaching a speed of 15 knots, carrying around 220 passengers and 43 vehicles or 11 trailers of 15 meters, and should operate on the route between the islands of São Vicente, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista and Praia, trip that must be done in 24 hours.
The ship was named after Cape Verdean pianist Epifania de Freitas Silva Ramos Évora (1919–2014), known as Dona Tututa.
According to the administrator, the ship is in perfect condition to start sailing – before being acquired by CVI, it sailed between the various islands of the Bahamas and Florida (United States) and arrived in Cape Verde after the completion of the remodelling process at the shipyard. Portuguese Navaltagus (ETE group) -, is internationally classified by the North American company ABS (America Bureau of Shipping) and is already registered in Cape Verde.
However, the last statutory inspection has already been carried out so that it is licensed to operate in accordance with national maritime standards.
“In the next few days, we are waiting for the final inspection to verify that the small recommendations have already been resolved and were details that did not call into question their navigability. I can even list the recommendations that have to do with a piece of radar, with an air conditioning unit. facilities of the command of the ship that broke down on this route, the paintings of the ship’s whaling boat that still bore the name of the previous shipowner, some paintings of safety signs”, pointed out Jorge Maurício.
The administrator ensures that the structure and design of the ship, as well as the alarm systems and its engine, are in perfect condition.
Even so, he admits that with more flexibility from the local maritime authorities, the ship could already have the certificate and operating license issued, and in a few days the recommendations would be regularized.
“In any case, the maritime authority does its work impartially, independently, with great professionalism, it must be said, because sometimes we confuse rigour and professionalism with blocking, but this is not always the case. on the maritime authority’s side, these are complex processes, the responsibility is enormous when it comes to passenger safety and that is why we fully respect and the relationship is built on a basis of trust”, stressed Jorge Maurício.
He recalls that there are ships that have already taken more than three months of waiting for “Dona Tututa” to obtain the seaworthiness certificate in Cape Verde, despite wishing that it would be a faster process.
“Because the ship is stopped, it is having costs, it is not having income and it is the company itself that assumes the costs. It is being painful and in this case, the company’s shareholders are responsible for this invoice”, he stressed.
He admits that “huge” investments have already been made in the acquisition of two ships for the CV Interilhas fleet – in addition to “Dona Tututa” and “Chiquinho BL”, in 2020 – in security systems, creating new jobs, as well. as in logistics with new spaces for consolidation, reception and delivery of goods, machinery and equipment.
It also guarantees that the ISM (International Safety Management) system is being implemented on ships, to better guarantee the safety of ships and people.
“We have also already started to implement a quality system through ISO 9001, in order to have a process of continuous improvement, well-defined procedures, a company operating in a constructive, business logic”, he concluded.