Huelin beach in Malaga on Thursday, with the port in the background. / SALVADOR SALAS / VÍDEO: JOSÉ LUIS ESCUDERO

Stormy seas prevent cruise and cargo ships docking on the Costa del Sol

Gale force winds and high waves have also forced most of the province’s fishing fleet to remain tied up in the harbours until at least Monday

Eugenio Cabezas

The storm that started to hit the Malaga coastline on Thursday, 19 November, has caused many complications for maritime traffic, both passengers and cargo, in the city’s port and has forced almost the entire fishing fleet to take refuge in the harbours of the province.

The amber weather alert (important risk) issued by the State Meteorological Agency, Aemet, for waves of up to 4 or 5 metres, will remain active this Friday. On Saturday it will be yellow again, also extending to the Antequera region.

Cruise ships

In Malaga’s port, the ‘Melillero’ ferry was able to operate normally. However, two container ships had to delay their docking, possibly until Saturday, due to the high waves. Regarding the cruise ships, on Thursday there were four scheduled stops, of which two were able to dock normally: the Vasco Da Gama, which did so at 4.25 am in the morning and the Marella Explorer 2, at 6.25 am.

However, the passenger ship Viking Jupiter had to modify its plans and make only a technical stopover to stock up, at Pier 7, an unusual place for a cruise ship. And the Ventura suspended its stopover in the Malaga city and continued on its route to the nearest port, Gibraltar, due to adverse weather conditions, according to sources from the Port Authority.

No fresh fish from the bay

Regarding the fishing fleet, only 10 per cent of the 250 boats in the five ports of the province (Estepona, Marbella, Fuengirola, Malaga and Caleta de Vélez) went out to fish on Thursday. In Caleta, only four trawlers began their activity early in the morning but returned to the port for safety, because the waves were already beginning to build at noon.

The head of the Caleta de Vélez fishermen's guild and president of the Malaga Provincial Federation of Fishermen's Guilds, María del Carmen Navas, explained to SUR that the boats will not fish again until next Monday.

Therefore, this weekend there will be no fresh fish from the bay in the province's hospitality establishments. "Our work is like that, we depend on the state of the sea, she said.

So far, no significant damage has been reported on the province’s beaches.