Ports & Ships Headline News

Sep 30, 2005
Author: P&S

Lost at sea – one missing bulker and tug
The Smit salvage tug Smit Amandla sailed from Durban yesterday afternoon to search for the missing bulk carrier Satsang, which was being towed by the Indian-owned tug Jupiter 6 to the Alang scrapyards in India.
Earlier another vessel, the bulker Poseidon reported seeing the Satsang drifting unattended approximately 220 n.miles south of Port Elizabeth. There was no sign of her tug, which has been reported missing by her owners. Both Jupiter 6 and Satsang left Cuba bound for India but made a forced stopover at Walvis Bay where the tug underwent emergency propulsion repairs lasting about four weeks. After these had been completed the two vessels sailed to round the Cape and shortly afterwards all contact was lost. Until this week there have been no reports of sightings despite this being a busy sealane.
Smit Amandla (the former John Ross) is expected to reach the area in which Satsang was last seen sometime tomorrow (Saturday 1 October) and will seek to take the vessel in tow. The master of the Poseidon which sighted the drifting and abandoned vessel this week reported seeing towing cables hanging from the vessel with no sign of life on board.

Saldanha strike warning
South African Port Operations (SAPO) says it doesn’t expect cargo working operations at the Port of Saldanha Bay Multi Purpose Terminal to be affected, despite reports of strike action by members of the South African trade union COSATU which says that its members will embark on a national stay away on Monday, 3 October 2005.

Shanhai remains under detention
The Cosco bulker Shanhai remains under detention in Durban harbour following the accident on 14 September when a 50-years old crane operator employed by a Durban stevedoring company was killed (see our Daily Headline News report dated 15 September 2005).
An investigation is underway as to why one of the vessel’s four onboard cranes collapsed while lifting cargo that was reportedly well within the crane’s limits. Cargo loading on the ship has recommenced at another berth (M), although not with the use of the ship’s cranes – two commercial landbased cranes have been hired to load the cargo of steel coils.

New harbourmaster for Port Elizabeth
Captain Neil Chetty, currently the deputy harbourmaster at Durban has been promoted to harbourmaster at Port Elizabeth and will be taking up his new position in three weeks time.
Captain Chetty has been in the employment of the National Ports Authority for about ten years, having served as tug master and later pilot before being promoted to deputy harbourmaster at southern Africa’s busiest port. Prior to that he was in the employ of Unicorn Shipping where he qualified on the coastal services.
The current harbourmaster at Port Elizabeth, Captain Sanks Plaatje will be returning to Durban and will be appointed deputy harbourmaster.

New pilot boat for Durban
A new pilot boat for Durban arrived unannounced in the port this afternoon but was greeted with a display of tugs spraying water. Bearing the name Tsitsikama, after the forest and region in the Southern Cape, the vessel was apparently built in Cape Town in the last twelve months. The current Durban pilot boat, Ballito, is often out of service, which may explain the appearance of a replacement or second boat.
Much of the piloting service at Durban is undertaken by port helicopter, except when the aircraft is out for service or maintenance.

Malawi food aid routed via Mozambique ports
Mozambique ports and the country’s land and rail transport services will benefit from food aid destined for drought-stricken Malawi, reports the Mozambique newspaper Noticias. The paper says that a steady stream of food aid will begin being delivered through Mozambique transport corridors from next week.

Kenyan Railways concessioning nears final stage
The concessioning of Kenya and the Uganda Railways came a step closer today (Friday, 30 September) with the opening of bids for the concessioning of the sate-owned railway. The results of the bidding will however only be made public on 14 October 2005 and will come from one of six pre-qualified groupings, which includes two South African companies - New Limpopo Bridge Projects Investments (NLPI, a Mauritius-registered company that consists of several South African banking groups plus Spoornet, South Africa’s state-owned railway), and Sheltam Locomotive & Rail Services of Port Elizabeth. The concessions will run for 25 years in the case of the freight services and seven years for passenger services.

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