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Photographer's Note

As I wrote in the note of my post Velas, Açores, the huge Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Portugal (1,727,408 km²,including around Azores and Madeira Islands) is the largest in the European Union and it ranks 9th in the world.
Portugal doesn't have a Coast Guard, therefore it is the Navy that performs that and other jobs, using warships: patrolling of the EEZ, fishing inspections, controlling of drugs traffic and illegal immigration, controlling of sea pollution, and, last but not the least, the international humanitarian obligation of SAR - the Search And Rescue duty. In case of a SOS, a call requesting help in this area of the North Atlantic Ocean, there is always at least one ship of the Navy ready to go where and when needed, very often under quite stormy conditions and regardless of them. Many lives have been saved by the SAR ships of the Portuguese Navy, often with the support of the Air Force (next post).
More than half of the Portugal's EEZ and SAR duty area is around the Azores Islands. I was there four months in the winter 1987-88, while serving in the corvette NRP Afonso Cerqueira (F488). Storms are quite frequent in North Atlantic, therefore a SAR winter duty in Azores is not easy job. Day or night, near or far, the SAR ship must go, whatever the stormy weather.
This picture was shot from the bridge of the corvette, somewhere on Azores area (maybe centre-south area, as I marked on map view). The sea was rather rough, but not really tempestuous this day. The worst days I hadn’t the nerve to take photos anywhere in the ship - therefore I missed great pictures…
[Shot somewhere in the southern area of Azores EEZ; Ponta Delgada (location) was perhaps the nearest port. Scanned from paper print.]
Click here for a complete view of the corvette.

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Additional Photos by Francisco Santos (xuaxo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4896 W: 319 N: 4862] (6854)
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