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Barcaioli interview

Cosimo Pignatelli, President of the Boatmen's Group Cooperative Society

The nautical service of boatmen

I am Cosimo Pignatelli, group leader and President of the Boatmen’s Group Cooperative Society of the Port of Taranto, which is a technical nautical service, together with piloting, towing and mooring.

We are a liaison service with the merchant ship that is moored or anchored in the harbour of the port,

so we transport people, crew members, equipment and provisions to the ships that are in the harbor

and also moored at the quay in the port.

We represent a kind of sea taxi, in essence.

We have been doing this since 2013 in the form of a cooperative society and secondly for mutual purposes, to ensure employment opportunities for members.

The organisation of the service is set up in this way: there is a reference shipping agency, the shipping agent who represents the ship that books the service.

In this case, the ship’s crew disembarks on the quayside and then the shipping agent organises transport services ashore using, for example, taxis to take them to the city, to visit the city rather than, I don’t know, to have them undergo a medical examination, in case they need a medical examination or to fulfill their obligations at the Maritime Border Police, depending, let’s say, on the needs for which they obviously have to come ashore.

I inherited this work from my father, who had been doing it since 1973, and the pleasure of falling in love with it over the years has led me to follow in his footsteps and continue, I must say, happily, with what he started so many years ago.

Very often my friends have asked me why it is that on the first of January, rather than on Epiphany Day, that I am so busy at work when others may be at home, because it is a service that has contingencies and when there are contingencies you have to be at the ship’s disposal, at any time of the year, at any hour, and so you have to leave your family to devote yourself to the job.

It is part of the vocation, of the love for this work.


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