Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 18, 2007
Author: P&S





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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Famous names reappear on coastal service

  • Mombasa tightens up on overstays

  • Piracy remains rampant in Somali waters

  • International shipping briefs

  • Pic of the day – MOL WISH




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    Famous names reappear on coastal service

    Ocean Africa Container Line (OACL), in keeping with a tradition handed down form its forebears (the line harks back to Unicorn Lines and before that to several South African coastal shipping lines) has set out to rename several ships on long term charter on the southern African coastal services.

    The OACL vessels either undergoing or which have already undergone name changes are:

    MAI RICKMERS becomes BARRIER
    PETER RICKMERS becomes BORDER
    DORIA becomes FRONTIER
    CAECILIA SCHULTE becomes RIDGE

    By coincidence another locally-operated line, Maritime Carrier Shipping or MACS Line, renamed the heavylift ship CHEYENNE to BLACK RHINO in Cape Town recently.

    BARRIER (former MAI RICKMERS) becomes the fourth ship in the service with this name. The first was built in 1922 and introduced on the South Africa service in 1953 by African Coasters, one of Unicorn’s forerunners. She was scrapped in Durban in 1965 having been replaced by African Coasters with a 1957-build (Barrier (2). This ship was sold in 1975 leaving a gap until 1987 when a Ro-Ro vessel, Barrier no.3, appeared in Unicorn colours, in which she remained until sold in 1993. The latest Barrier, of 10,743-gt. was built in 1997 and is managed by Rickmers Reederei, having come on charter to OACL more than a year ago.

    There have been four BORDER’s on the coastal service prior to the latest, the former PETER RICKMERS. The first Border arrived in South Africa in 1934 as the SS ALBION but was renamed Border the following year before being transferred to African Coasters in 1938. Resold in 1946 to the Cape Town company Coastal Steamships with the same name, Border (1) was wrecked south of Port Nolloth in 1947. Border (2) was acquired by African Coasters in 1950 and renamed Border the following year, being eventually scrapped in Durban in 1965. Border (3), a similar ship to Barrier (2) was bought by African Coasters in 1964 and spent the next 17 years on the coastal service being laid up in 1981. She was replaced with Border (4), a Ro-Ro vessel identical to Barrier (3) and followed a similar path being sold in 1993.

    The name FRONTIER first appeared on the South African coastal service back in 1911, when the Durban-based company CG Smith acquired a ship named LIMPOPO (coincidentally another current name with OACL) but renamed her Frontier. Among her subsequent registered owners was JE Grindrod who acquired the ship in 1922. There have been no less than seven Frontier’s (not counting the latest), with no.7 being a 1988-built ship that was chartered and later acquired by Unicorn Lines in the early 1990s. Sold in 1994 she has since undergone numerous sales and today sails for a Greek company under the name Nama. The latest Frontier (no.8) was the former Doria and is German-owned having been on charter for a couple of years.

    The fourth ship to take on a familiar name in OACL service is RIDGE, the former Caecilia Schulte which is also the latest vessel to come on charter to the line. She becomes Ridge (no.3), the first of that name having been built in 1947 before acquisition by African Coasters in 1962. She was later sold to a UAE concern in 1968. The second Ridge was especially noteworthy for having been built for Unicorn Lines in Durban at the Dorman Long shipyard in 1972 as a sister ship to VERGE. She sailed the coast for a total of 15 years until sold and is still afloat and in service as the PRINCESS LILY. The latest RIDGE (no.3), of 10,749-gt was built in 1995 and is on charter from one of the German companies.

    Cheyenne, now renamed BLACK RHINO, is a heavylift ship fitted with twin 200-tonne cranes which was acquired by the German company Maritime Carrier Shipping, better known as MACS Line and which has strong interests in South Africa. The ship’s story has been related previously in PORTS & SHIPS and can be found at
    http://www.ports.co.za/news/article_2006_08_13_1811.html#one



    Mombasa tightens up on overstays

    The port of Mombasa, where severe congestion has been experienced at the container terminal, has taken measures to tighten up on unwelcome overstays, with handling charges of US $100 per TEU being applied.

    The port has seen an increase of more than 30 percent in container handling in the first six months of this year to June, brought about by a number of factors. Among these is an increase in the number of shipping lines calling at Mombasa, and cargo that is diverted from Dar es Salaam owing to congestion in the Tanzanian port.

    Containers remaining unclaimed at the terminal after 21 days are being removed and use is to be made of two inland terminals outside the port confines. These measures have already begun to take effect, according to a statement issued in Kampala by a Mombasa port official who said that normalcy was returning to the port. Nevertheless he appealed to importers to come forward and claim their containers as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile two of the port’s container berths, 13 and 14 have been allocated to Maersk Line as dedicated berths.



    Piracy remains rampant in Somali waters

    A Panamanian registered ship INFINITY MARINE 1 is reportedly missing while en route from the UAE to Mogadishu in Somali, according to Kenyan sources. The ship was last reported underway on 26 June about 37 miles off the coast at Ras Kafoon. The ship is carrying a cargo of foodstuffs and general cargo.

    The International Maritime Bureau Piracy Centre, which monitors worldwide piracy from its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, says that acts of piracy off Somali remain rampant with another four incidents reported in the past week.

    According to the IMB an unnamed bulker was approached on 20 June by an unlit vessel in position 13:21N, 052:21.2E at 19.30 local time and was joined by a second craft shortly afterwards. The bulker took evasive action as well as introducing proper precautions on board the vessel and after about 150 minutes of chase the two craft broke off and departed the scene.

    A container ship reported being pursued by a small craft in position 00:19:0N, 050:45:0E on 8 July. Again evasive action was taken before the smaller craft broke away and departed the scene.

    Two days later a tug sailing in the Gulf of Aden in position 12:59N, 049:17E, 90 n-miles north of the Somali northern coast, was followed by a motorised dhow during the early hours of the morning. Although the tug altered course and speed the dhow matched its progress but later gave up the chase.

    On Monday, 16 July at 23.00 a small craft acting suspiciously tried to approach another ship underway near Somali waters. Once it was clear the smaller craft had been seen and was being monitored it broke away and departed, reports the IMB.

    The IMB also reports on a number of attacks on ships and yachts sailing in the Gulf of Aden, with some of the vessels coming under fire, including in one instance the use of a rocket-propelled grenade. The IMB warns all shipping everywhere to maintain strict anti-piracy watches and to report all attacks and suspicious movements to the Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur



    International shipping briefs

    Oil tanker blocks Suez Canal
    17 July - The Suez Canal was blocked yesterday by an oil tanker in the northbound convoy. The STAR HERO was 10th in the convoy of 14 vessels with another 20 vessels waiting at Suez Anchorage for transit. The 1st Southbound Convoy is anchored at Great Bitter Lake and the 2nd is moored at Ballah Loop. A tug is being sent to tow the immobilised tanker to Great Bitter Lake.
    source: GAC

    De Nul places multi order for ships
    Belgian-based dredging specialist Jan de Nul has placed orders for eight vessels with a Chinese shipyard. The order with Tianjin Xinhe Shipbuilding Heavy Industries includes a 3,700m³ splithopper dredger similar to the BOUGAINVILLE which was delivered in 2006. The new splithopper will be named DE LAPEROUSE. Other vessels are a backhoe dredger and six splitbarges for delivery between 2009 and 2010. Tianjin Xinhe has already delivered nine vessels to Jan de Nul since 2003.
    source - Jan de Nul

    MSC NAPOLI blown up
    Explosives were used yesterday to blow the stranded container ship MSC NAPOLI into two halves. The demolition is aimed at easing the job of dismantling the vessel which is again stranded off the English coast, after efforts to tow her into deep water were called off. Shortly after refloating the vessel at the weekend it was found that damage to the ship was far worse than originally thought and that the ship would break in two if towed further out to sea, leading to the decision to re-beach her and begin her demolition.
    The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency has warned that some more oil may be released when the ship parts. “It is inevitable that some oil will be left in the wreck. However, all parties are working together to ensure that the operation minimises damage to the local environment.”



    Pic of the day – MOL WISH

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The container ship MOL WISH in Cape Town harbour during May 2007. Picture by Ian Shiffman



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

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