Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 14, 2006
Author: P&S


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  • Stowaway problem highlighted

  • New small craft harbour challenged

  • Angola plans to rebuild Porto Amboim

  • Delphin Voyager cruise substituted

  • Pic of the day – Fotiy Krylov

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

    Stowaway problem highlighted

    A Durban ships agency was approached last week by the owners of a Chinese vessel to remove three stowaways from their ship when it passed Durban last week.

    The three stowaways had apparently boarded the ship while it was in Cape Town and were only discovered after the vessel had sailed. The original plan was to bring the ship in to port at Durban to disembark the stowaways. However because of her size and draught the ship would have been unable to enter port so the plan had to be altered.

    Arrangements were instead made for the stowaways to disembark via launch chartered for the purpose. However in the event the launch was unable to go alongside the vessel due to a large flare around the ship. This led to last-minute arrangement having to be made for a police rubber inflatable to go alongside the vessel to land the stowaways and transfer them to the launch which was now standing off the vessel before returning to port.

    Rennies Ships Agency were the agents for this particular vessel and they arranged and co-ordinated the safe landing of the stowaways.

    The stowaways have been detained by immigration authorities pending their repatriation back to Tanzania. This incident highlights the ever increasing stowaway problem being experienced in the ports along the South African coast, which is causing huge problems for the owners not to mention the huge additional costs that are incurred to land and repatriate the stowaways. This is despite the implementation of ISPS regulations which are designed to curb the stowaway activity within the ports.

    Most if not all entrances to the port are manned by NPA or private security yet despite this people wishing to stow away on vessels are still freely able to find their way into the port and board vessels undetected.

    “The stowaway problem has been highlighted at various forums for a long time in an attempt to bring the problem under control,” said a port user who will remain nameless.

    “Despite promises from the various authorities concerned to address these issues ship owners and agents are still faced with poor security at the entry points. The same applies on the quayside regarding the monitoring of activity within the port where some stowaways disembark from a particular vessel after being kicked off by the crew and hide amongst the cargo / containers on the ground while looking for another vessel.”

    New small craft harbour challenged

    Dear Editor

    I get the distinct impression that all is not well at the DPDC (Durban Point Development Company). Despite clear opposition to the development of a small craft harbor (SCH) at Vetch's, it seems that the DPDC has got itself into a situation where commitments to investors has forced it into railroading the development of the SCH.

    What stuns me is the shortsightedness of the decision makers. They have set their sights on developing the SCH on the seaward side of the Point Development. I strongly believe that they should be looking at the harbour side. This will have 4 distinct advantages ie:

    Firstly; they won't have to destroy Vetch's Beach. This area can be upgraded to fit in with the already well-established uShaka Marine World. This will appease the current users of Vetch's Beach and improve the profile of uShaka Marine.

    Secondly; I believe that the developer will still be able to build a small craft harbour. They have established that this is needed to round off the Point Development. The DPDC should therefore make a concerted effort to ensure that the SCH is a success. It is almost certain that building the SCH on Vetch's Beach will be an unmitigated failure.

    Thirdly; at no stage of the planning process has the DPDC made an attempt to establish if current boat owners will use the SCH at Vetch's. It is clear that the SCH is being planned to provide cosmetic rather than practical benefit. I sincerely believe that, if the SCH is built inside the harbor area, current boat owners will be encouraged to moor their craft there.

    Fourthly; the development of the SCH in the area currently occupied by A & B cargo berths will significantly increase the value of developments in this area. After all, who will want to purchase an apartment situated some 150m away from a cargo working terminal? Ships burn approximately three metric tons of fuel in port every day, to generate power for cranes and other machinery. The exhaust fumes will result in levels of air pollution which are completely unacceptable in a residential environment.

    The alternative that I propose will obviously require a lot of planning. The City and DPDC need to engage Transnet (who control the land in the port area) to ensure that the aim of successfully developing the Point area, is achieved.

    I must urge interested parties to voice their concerns loudly. If the DPDC are allowed to go ahead with their plans, Durban's ratepayers will be burdened with yet another costly facility that only a few elite will be able to enjoy.

    Yours etc
    Chris Sutton.
    La Lucia, Durban

    Editor’s note: The intention of developers including the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) is to build a small craft harbour immediately outside the harbour entrance, bounded on the south by the still to be rebuilt and repositioned north breakwater, while the opposite side will be close to the mentioned Vetch’s Pier.
    For the sake of readers unfamiliar with Durban, Vetch’s Pier was constructed in the 19th century as Durban’s north breakwater in the belief (of the designer) that it would solve the problem of the infamous sandbar across the port entrance. It was subsequently abandoned as a failure and broken down to low tide level. The foundations of Vetch’s, as it is known, have since become an important breeding ground and reef for mussels and other crustaceans and is a popular diving site, especially for novices. The adjacent is well protected and is used by paddle skiers and to launch ski boats and sailing craft.

    Angola plans to rebuild Porto Amboim

    The Angolan government has revealed that it intends revamping and enlarging the harbour at Porto Amboim, which is situated roughly halfway between Luanda and Lobito.

    Port Amboim fell into neglect particularly after the departure of the Portuguese but the government believes that its rehabilitation is important for the region’s development. Consequently it is talking of investing US $ 40 million to relaunch the port as a successful commercial facility.

    The Angolan government says that reopening Porto Amboim will also help relieve some of the pressure of Luanda.

    It says the port was built in the 1940s but became paralysed in 1997 due to the run-down state of its facilities.

    Delphin Voyager cruise substituted

    The round the world cruise involving the cruise ship Delphin Voyager, which was due at South African ports in January, has run into problems and the ship has been substituted with an aging cruise ship recently on layby, Orient Queen.

    Delphin Voyager, the former Orient Venus of Japanese Cruise Line, was built in 1990 and is undergoing a complete and costly refit amounting to what is practically a rebuild and will not be ready in time for the scheduled departure. The ship was supposed to have sailed from Piraeus on 18 December but when it became apparent she would not be ready in time arrangements were hurriedly made to bring Orient Queen back into service on charter.

    As a result Orient Queen, built in 1968 as the Starward which later became better known as Bolero, will now arrive in South African ports one day later than was scheduled for Delphin Voyager. The ship is on charter to Germany’s Delphin Kreuzfahrten.

    Pic of the day – Fotiy Krylov/B>

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Tsavliris tug Fotiy Krylov which has taken up station at Cape Town as a replacement fro a sister tug Nikolay Chiker. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    NB Pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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