Ports & Ships Maritime News
Nov 28, 2005
Somalia – Pirates release coal ship Panagia
The 34,000-dwt Ukrainian bulker Panagia, which was highjacked in October (see our News report dated 21 October), was released by the Somali pirates on Saturday (26 November) and allowed to sail. It is believed that a ransom was paid by the ship’s owners although this has not been confirmed. According to reports the crew members are all well and unharmed.
Panagia was seized by pirates while sailing northeastwards past the Somali coast in October, after having loaded a cargo of 32,000 tonnes of coal at Maputo, Mozambique. Earlier the ship had discharged a cargo of wheat at Port Elizabeth and Durban. She had a crew of 22 men and it was reported then that a ransom of US0,000 was being demanded.
-SOUTH AFRICA – NDS Prosperity back in business
The Nile Dutch multi purpose ship NDS Prosperity, which went to anchor about 5 miles off Saldanha Bay after losing all engine power, has completed repairs and is proceeding with her interrupted voyage.
SOUTH AFRICA – Port helicopter due back
The marine helicopter at the port of Durban, which has been out of commission for about six weeks while undergoing a major overhaul, is now expected back in service on 9 December, reports Acher Aviation.
Earlier the port authorities at Durban had indicated to Ports & Ships that the helicopter would be back in service at the end of November but delays in obtaining parts has apparently caused a delay.
It is also learned that negotiations are underway towards replacing the crashed Richards Bay marine helicopter with a new machine. Consideration is also being given to providing a helicopter-borne pilot service at the port of Saldanha Bay
SOUTH AFRICA – exemptions in several fishing sectors
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism announced exemptions in several sectors of the fishing industry as an interim measure in case of any possible delays in the allocation of long-term commercial fishing rights.
This was necessitated by the significantly greater than expected number of applications and the complexities involved in assessing these applications. The department says it is acutely aware of the fact that any delays to the start of the fishing season may have a negative economic impact, particularly on operational and commercial factors and loss of market share in the competitive international market, but is committed to a fair and transparent allocation process.
Exemptions have been granted in the following sectors where possible delays may be expected:
West Coast rock lobster (full commercial)
Netfish, white mussel, oyster, KwaZulu-Natal Beach Seine
The Department is prioritising the allocation to the limited right holders in the West Coast rock lobster sector in order to ensure a minimum disruption to fishers from the smaller coastal communities. A contingency plan is currently being devised to accommodate these fishers.
The hake deepsea trawl and inshore as well as horse-mackerel are expected to be allocated in time for the start of the fishing season.
- report issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
INTERNATIONAL – Mitsui OSK receives crew award
Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) has been awarded the Philippine government’s International Maritime Employers Award for the second time. The award acknowledges MOL’s long contribution to the Philippine economy by employing thousands of Filipino seafarers on board its worldwide fleet – MOL operates one of the world’s largest seagoing fleets and in 1993 opened a maritime school in the Philippines, since when the school has sent out large numbers of highly skilled and well-trained seafarers.
The Philippines International Maritime Employers Award goes to foreign companies, groups and individuals that contribute to the country. This year the President’s awards went to 25 companies, seven maritime groups and eight shipping executives.
A MOL-affiliated manning company, Magsaysay-Mitsui OSK Inc in the Philippines will also receive the Excellent Manning Company award from the government’s Overseas Employment Bureau for the second consecutive year.
Clipper Race – Yachts set off for the Southern Ocean
Monday 28 November
The ten yachts competing in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race set sail on leg 3 yesterday (Sunday 27 November 2005) and are now headed toward the Southern Ocean to visit Australia for the first time in the ten-year history of the event. It seemed the whole of Durban came out to bid the race farewell with skydivers flying a huge South African flag, beach festivals, over 500 boats, canoeists and surfers out on the water, and more than 50,000 well-wishers lining the coastline.
Liverpool 08 were the first to cross the start line, but too early and had to do a 360 to get them back on course, putting Durban in first place. Glasgow soon took the opportunity to snatch away the lead, with good clear air and their genoa flying, the Scottish entry stormed forward leaving the fleet behind.
The new route that takes the fleet from Durban, South Africa to Fremantle in Western Australia will take the amateur crews into some of the harshest conditions they will face during the ten-month circumnavigation.
On this leg, the ten Dubois-designed yachts will enter the area known as the Roaring Forties at one of the toughest times of the year, the latitudes between 40°S and 50°S, where the prevailing westerly winds are strong and steady.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Ventures PLC Chairman, said: ‘This is a real landmark for the Clipper Race. Our amateur crews are heading into the Southern Ocean for the first time, at one of the most difficult times of the year. The conditions they will face would test professional crews to the limit, so it will be a great achievement when they reach Fremantle just before Christmas.’
He continues: ‘Durban is a model for an ideal stopover on a round the world yacht race. The facilities and hospitality have been phenomenal. The City of Durban has been inspired by the race and the public have been coming down to the Clipper Race Village to support the local entry, Durban Clipper.’
The Clipper Race Village has been a hive of activity during the stopover with live music, local food outlets and street entertainment, as the crews prepared their boats for the 4,350-mile race to Australia.
Over 300 local school children visited the Clipper Race Village during the stopover as the yachts opened their hatches of some of the race’s youngest followers as part of the Clipper World Classroom Programme.
The pressure is on for westernaustralia.com as they race into their home port. The Aussie entry is currently topping the leader board after three races. The fleet is expected to arrive in Fremantle on 17 December.
Durban, South Africa
Fremantle, Western Australia
New York, USA
Jersey, Channel Islands
This report courtesy Olivia Jones Communications
For more information log on to www.clipper-ventures.com
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