breaking news - Public and shipping and boating warned of Table Bay log hazard

Aug 30, 2008
Author: Capt Nick Sloane

Divers from Svitzer Salvage securing a log in Table Bay before winching ashore

Svitzer Salvage Africa were contracted at noon on the 12th August, to provide assistance in the search & recovery of some 600+ logs, that were lost overboard from the cargo vessel LOLA, whilst at anchor in Table Bay on the night of the 9 August.

Over the past two weeks, 489 logs have been recovered from the sea and landed in Hout Bay, Cape Town & Saldanha Bay, with another 145+ logs having been identified along the coastline between Scarborough and Cape Columbine.

Svitzer are deploying teams along the coastline to recover these beached logs. Access to some of the more remote logs in the nature reserve and sensitive dune areas is being controlled by the department of environmental affairs, to reduce the impact of the recovery operation.
Zodiac type semi-rigid inflatables, crewed by recovery teams including divers are deployed along the coastline. These shall be directed to the immediate location of the logs by aerial observations from helicopters, and from reportings made by the public.

With the approaching cold front this weekend expected to bring rough seas and heavy swells, there is a strong possibility that these logs along the shoreline pose a risk to the public.

In consultation with SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Agency), SVITZER Salvage have been requested to liaise with the NSRI, and local Disaster Management Services, Life Guard Associations and the Port of Cape Town & Saldanha Bay, to warn the public on the dangers that these logs pose.

The public, small craft users and local fisherman are urged to be aware of the risks that these logs pose to fishing boats, bathers and recreational surfers.

They should not be approached in the surf zone, and life guards are urged to maintain a lookout and warn bathers of their presence.

The logs are of Okoume species, of West African origin, and weigh between 8 & 20 tonnes, with a length between 6 10m in length.



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