Panama City, Panama – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that the Panama Canal has set a new safety record relating to maritime accidents. The total number of maritime accidents occurring in the Panama Canal for the past two fiscal years – 2001 and 2002 – represents a forty percent reduction from the two previous years, 1999 and 2000.
From 2001 to 2002, 34 maritime accidents took place out of a total of 26,678 transits. This compares with 57 maritime accidents in the fiscal years 1999 and 2000, and 56 maritime accidents for the years 1997 and 1998. The 2002 fiscal year ended on September 30.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates to the world that the ACP means business. Reducing accidents and improving safety is absolutely paramount to our customers and to us. We are clearly seeing dividends from our total focus on continued capital improvements, development of a top-notch workforce and management team, and investment in new equipment and technology,” said ACP Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
Since it assumed control of the Canal, the ACP has steadily reduced the number of maritime accidents: from 29 accidents in fiscal year 2000 to only 17 for both 2001 and 2002. According to the ACP’s Maritime Operations Director, Jorge Quijano:
“The last time we had two consecutive years with such low numbers was in 1922 and 1923 with 10 accidents in each year. However, there were only 2,736 transits in 1922 and 3,960 transits in 1923, which is less than 30 percent of the 13,000 plus transits in 2002.”
About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating, and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the website: www.pancanal.com.