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Panama Canal Celebrates Its Commitment to Safety

Date: 28-JUL-2005

ANNUAL"SAFE BOARDING WEEK" ENSURES AWARENESS
AND COMPLIANCE OF ALL VESSELS ARRIVING AT THE WATERWAY

PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 28, 2005 - Recognizing the importance of proper boarding facilities and procedures, the Panama Canal is currently hosting this year's "Safe Boarding Week" (July 25-29). An annual event since the late '80s, "Safe Boarding Week" has continued to be a time to promote and encourage safe boarding and debarkation of all vessels arriving at the Canal. Moreover, it is an exceptional way to ensure the safety and efficiency of operating personnel and Canal customers during a transit through the waterway.

"The ACP is committed to providing a safe, efficient and reliable transit to its customers. For approximately 20 years, 'Safe Boarding Week' has been a great opportunity to reinforce this commitment by promoting safety through awareness and compliance with boarding regulations," said ACP Maritime Operations Director Jorge L. Quijano.

"Safe Boarding Week" activities will include the inspection of boarding facilities by ACP teams comprised of admeasurers, pilots, linehandlers and others who regularly board transiting vessels. The vessels will have to comply with a thorough checklist of Canal requirements that cover the adequacy of their embarking and disembarking arrangements. Inspection of vessels will be held at anchorages in Cristobal and Balboa. Transit delays are not expected to occur since the inspections are performed while the vessels are in anchorage and waiting for transit.

Special recognition will be granted to vessels that pass all points of inspection. Vessels deemed below the set standard will have to remedy all deficiencies prior to transit.

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 Panama Canal Authority's Web site: www.pancanal.com.

The Authority's responsibility to the Panamanian people is paramount. The Canal belongs to the people and benefits from the Canal should accrue to as many Panamanians as possible.  The Authority will plan its future so that it will continually contribute to the economic development and welfare of the citizens of Panama.


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