Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 14, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • CLOF and Transnet agree – DCT delays are over

  • Hope fading for missing utility boat Hawk

  • IMO’s Mitropoulos gets second term

  • Three dead as trawler sinks before burning

  • Hobson’s Choice - McCurdo EPIRB helps rescue yachtsman

  • Picture of the day

  • Ports & Ships now features a column called The Shipping World which will carry comment and analysis, as well as a collection of interesting facts, figures and explanations about shipping and transport in general and of the people who make it tick. In fact anything that influences the Shipping World. The topics will not be news as such, more the background to the news.
    The column can also be utilised to highlight companies that have made their mark in this industry, or who do things differently from the rest. Get in touch with us if you have an interesting story to tell or your company has a success to share. Contact us at info@ports.co.za

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
    WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

    CLOF and Transnet agree – DCT delays are over

    The Container Liner Operators Forum (CLOF) and Transnet, which met recently to thrash out issues arising from shipping delays at Durban Container Terminal (DCT), provided a statement on Friday (10 November) announcing that vessel delays have been eliminated.

    Yesterday morning (Monday) there was only a single container ship waiting outside Durban out of a total of four ships in the outer anchorage and that was a ship that had arrived earlier than scheduled.

    In the statement both parties acknowledged that a focused action plan by SA Port Operations (SAPO) aimed at reducing the delays had borne fruit. This included deploying senior management and other management personnel including from labour in a 24/7 operations command centre which focused on hourly performance monitoring and problem solving.

    Among the issues tackled were increasing the resource capacity; creating yard stacking space by early evacuation of containers as well as more efficient stacking; increasing operational efficiency; and making use of international experts in operations systems and planning.

    But with the immediate problem over SAPO will be implementing additional operational enhancement initiatives over the next six to 12 months.

    These include:

    - The training and development of operational staff
    - The fast tracking of the Pier 1 additional capacity
    - A new gate with higher capacity and fast throughput
    - Three new super post Panamax ship to shore cranes to replace outdated Demag cranes
    - A road truck appointment system
    - A Modernised stacking system based on international best practice.

    The statement says that CLOF and SAPO believe the above measures will result in a sustainable efficient container supply chain.

    - source Transnet

    Hope fading for missing utility boat Hawk

    Hopes of finding the missing Cape Town utility offshore vessel Hawk, which disappeared off the East Coast of South Africa last week, have faded as a wide air and sea search brought no sightings or trace of the vessel.

    The only evidence of the missing Hawk, which was carrying a crew of four, came from one of the two liferafts on board which was found in the sea about ten kilometres north of Shelly Beach on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast. There was no sign on the liferaft that anyone had been on board, suggesting it had been washed overboard before anyone could clamber on board.

    The small vessel, which is owned by Cape Town company Offshore Maritime Services, was returning to Cape Town after completing a contract at Richards Bay.

    The initial search concentrated on the sea area along South Africa’s Wild Coast. Ships in the area have been asked to keep a look out for the missing Hawk.

    IMO’s Mitropoulos gets second term

    Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Efthimios Mitropoulos has had his mandate for a second four-year term of office confirmed by acclamation, according to a statement from the UN organisation.

    “The Council decided by acclamation to renew Mr Mitropoulos's mandate for another four-year term, concluding on 31 December 2011.” The Council added that it recognised "the exceptional leadership, initiative and commitment with which the affairs of the Organization have been conducted by Mr Mitropoulos, as its Secretary General".

    Mitropoulos said that the safety of life at the sea should continue to be IMO's principal objective. He singled out the 'goal-based standard' concept, and spoke of the "beneficial impact it will certainly have."

    "We should continue to pay due regard to the contribution to enhanced safety of flag, port and coastal States, classification societies and other stakeholders, all having an important role to play in collectively implementing, maintaining and raising the safety standards of shipping".

    Anticipating a period in which significant long-term efforts to improve maritime safety and reduce the risk of pollution will take effect, Mitropoulos spoke of the many challenges currently facing the Organization.

    Three dead as trawler burns before sinking

    Three seamen died when the fishing vessel Diaz experienced an engine room explosion leading to a fire and the subsequent sinking of the vessel off the Namibian coast last week.

    Two of those who died were Spanish and the third person came from Namibia. According to reports the vessel, belonging to Diaz Trawling, sank in a depth of about 230 fathoms on Thursday afternoon. The blaze was so fierce that four other vessels attending were unable to get close to help fight the fire. The three who died in what was presumed to have been the initial explosion were the chief engineer, the first engineer and an engine room hand. The balance of the crew of 23 took to the lifeboats and made their escape with either minor or no injuries. They were picked up by attending fishing boats and later taken to Walvis Bay.

    An investigation into the accident is underway.

    Hobson’s Choice - McCurdo EPIRB helps rescue yachtsman

    Lone yachtsman Ross Hobson was rescued from the overturned Class 3 trimaran Ideal Stelrad after it capsized in 50 knot winds in mid Atlantic last week. He owes his life to having activated the two EPIRB distress beacons on board the yacht.

    Hobson was taking part in the Route du Rhum ocean race.

    Hobson managed to run to the edge of the yacht as it flipped over and then crawled inside the upturned yacht through an emergency hatch. He activated the McMurdo Smartfind EPIRB (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons), which sent its signal via the satellite system to the Falmouth Coastguard. He also tried to use his satellite phone but it got soaked by a wave and became inoperable. He then activated the other McMurdo EPIRB, to make it obvious that the first was not an accidental activation.

    The McMurdo EPIRB signal were picked up within seconds of each other on both sides of the Atlantic by the Falmouth (UK) and Norfolk (USA) Coastguards, who implemented the rescue procedure which diverted the Carmen to Hobson’s location.

    The Wallenius car carrier Carmen answered the call for assistance and took Hobson on board.

    McMurdo is the world’s leading producer of Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) Search and Rescue Transponders (SARTs), Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), VHF Radios and NAVTEX for the maritime and leisure markets, including shipping, yachting, aviation and outdoor adventure pursuits.

    McMurdo is marketed in Southern Africa by SMD Telecommunications

    Picture of the day
    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The passenger ship Green Coast (4,992-gt, ex Litva) which lies capsized in Luanda Harbour, has been an unwanted resident since 2001 when a Hong Kong-based company attempted to convert her into a floating hotel. The ship was later the subject of an inquiry by the International Transport Federation (ITF) which accused the owners of holding Chinese workers on board in conditions little different from slavery. The project was later abandoned.

    Earlier this year the ship capsized after firefighters pumped too much water on board while trying to extinguish a fire. Luanda authorities have since issued a tender for the righting and removal of the wreck.

    The wreck of Green Coast (Litva) would have little more than passing interest were it not one that she is one of the last of the once numerous Soviet Mikhail Kalinin class of passenger ships, having been built in 1960 for Black Sea Shipping.

    The photograph was taken by Bureau Veritas’ (BV) director in Luanda, Rui Fonseca and made available courtesy of Alex Gregg-Smith of the Durban BV office via Prof Trevor Jones.

    Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast?

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