Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 3, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • First View – DIOMED, another victim of the Zululand coast

  • Drama on the Zululand coast

  • Motor Industry – VW looks to expand exports

  • Piracy report - Kenya and Ukraine asked to explain Faina’s cargo

  • News from the shipping lines

  • SAS SPIOENKOP in historic visit to Vietnam

  • Botswana bans animals from Trans-Kalahari

  • Pic of the day – MONIQUE


    First View – DIOMED, another victim of the Zululand coast

    The fishing trawler DIOMED which went aground off the northern Zululand coast last weekend, a few miles south of the Mozambique border. Although she was later refloated with the pulling power of the Svitzer Salvage tug INDOMITABLE, the damaged incurred while aground proved too great and the trawler sank later in about 275 metres of water some 3 n.miles off Dog Point.
    Picture by Capt Nick Sloane / Svitzer Salvage

    Drama on the Zululand coast

    The two barges DAR 1 and DAR 2 aground off the Zululand coast. Picture courtesy Isimagaliso Park

    Attempts were made at the weekend to refloat two barges and a trawler that went aground off the Zululand coast last weekend.

    On Sunday it was learned that one of the barges, DAR 1 had been refloated but was so badly damaged by her grounding that she was in imminent danger of sinking. The other barge, DAR 1 remains aground on a rocky ledge almost out of the water and it now seems unlikely any further attempt will be made to refloat her.

    DAR 1 was eventually pulled clear of the ledge on which she was resting by the combined efforts of the tugs SMIT AMANDLA and THUNDERER and has been taken to a position of deep water some 25 n.miles out to sea, according to a SAMSA spokesman. He said he thought that if the barge did sink, as was highly possible, there was little risk of pollution to the coastline as the barge was completely empty after having last carried cement.

    The other casualty involved the trawler DIOMED which went aground a few miles south of the KZN/Mozambique border. The trawler was high and dry on the beach but was refloated at high tide with the aid of the Svitzer tug INDOMITABLE which managed to pull the trawler clear on Saturday, only for the fishing vessel to sink later in about 275 metres of water, some three n.miles off Dog Point.

    According to a spokesman for the iSimangaliso Park a close watch for pollution will be kept.

    Earlier Cape Town-based Svitzer Salvage had been contracted by the trawler’s owners to assist with efforts to refloat the vessel.

    Because the vessel carried no hull or P&I cover, the trawlers owners are understood to have allocated funds for a salvage attempt during the past weekend between Friday afternoon and Sunday (31 October – 2 November) using the Svitzer Salvage tug INDOMITABLE, which was fortuitously in Durban at the time.

    A mobile team left for the casualty by land to assist with preparations. The intention had been to take the trawler to Maputo for an inspection subject to a successful refloating.

    Motor Industry – VW looks to expand exports

    VW South Africa, the German motor manufacturer intends investing a further R3 billion at its Uitenhage plant outside Port Elizabeth in a manner that will enhance both local content and the export of fully made up vehicles.

    Revealing this at a motor show held in Nasrec, Gauteng last week, Jochem Heizman, one of the VW Board of Directors and Chairman of VWSA said the company was looking ahead to 2018 and intended creating a renewed manufacturing environment.

    In future VWSA intends manufacturing just two ‘platforms’ locally, compared with three at present. The model platform to be dropped is the Golf-Jetta while those remaining will be entry level vehicle platforms because this would present high volume opportunities for local and export purposes.

    As a result of a programme to increase local content from 40% to 70%, the VWSA plant would move from being an assembly plant into a true manufacturing plant, Heizman said.

    Piracy report – Kenya and Ukraine asked to explain Faina’s cargo

    FAINA - the dispute over the destination of her cargo of T-72 tanks and ammunition continues. Picture Jason Zalasky/US Navy

    The United States has asked Kenya and Ukraine to explain where the 33 T-72 tanks and ammunition on board the Ukraine Ro-Ro ship FAINA are destined for.

    Faina was seized by Somali pirates and is being held for ransom although so far the ship owners have declined to negotiate terms for the ship or cargo. But now US Secretary of State for African Affairs, Dr Jendayi Frazer says, "Kenya should say what is the destination of the weapons and Ukraine, who are the exporters, should say who they were exporting the weapons to."

    Confusion over the destination of the weapons arose immediately the ship was captured. Kenya said the weapons were for its own use but other sources, including the US believe they are intended for South Sudan.

    Faina remains under close scrutiny by US warships.

    Undeterred by the growing presence of warships in the Gulf of Aden pirates operating off the Horn of Africa carried out at least six attacks on ships in the area last week. Five of these were unsuccessful but a sixth ship, the Turkish bulker YASA NESLIHAN (82,849-DWT, built 2007) with a crew of 20 was seized on Wednesday 29 October in Aden Bay. The ship is carrying a cargo of 77,000 tonnes of iron ore from Canada to China.

    In a new development, a Spanish Air Force P-3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft managed to chase away pirates attacking a Panamanian ship, the 88,506-DWT LEANDER, which was also in the Gulf and not far off the coast of Yemen. The aircraft made several low swoops over the pirates’ boats before dropping smoke bombs which succeeded in deterring the attackers.

    A British shipping committee, the UK Warlike Operations Area Committee says that crews having to cross the Gulf of Aden should be entitled to double pay in the form of danger money, which should only apply when there is no naval or military escort available.

    The committee comprises representatives of the UK shipping industry and seafarer unions and assesses risk to seafarers from warlike conditions likely to be encountered.

    Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), the Iranian national shipping line which recently had one of its ships seized, the IRAN DEYANAT, has instructed all of its vessels to install barbed wire on their decks and to have crew on watch against pirates whenever any ships are in the Gulf of Aden. Vessels must also remain in radio contact with ships of the multi national naval force in the area. Iran Deyanant was freed on 10 October after, it is believed, a ransom was paid. IRISL has denied that the ship was carrying weapons for Eritrea, as has been alleged.

    On the West Africa coast armed pirates who attacked an oil vessel off the coast of Cameroun have taken 10 oil workers hostage. The vessel, BOURBON SAGITTA is under contract to Total Oil. Those taken hostage include six Frenchmen, two Cameroonians, a Senegalese and a Tunisian. Threats against the lives of the hostages have been received unless Cameroon agrees to reopen negotiations concerning the question of sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula.

    News from the shipping lines

    Hamburg Sud’s RIO DE LA PLATA made her maiden call in Durban in September this year. She is a sister ship to the RIO NEGRO described below. Picture by Trevor Jones

    Hamburg Süd last week named its latest newbuild container ship, the 5,900-TEU RIO NEGRO. The christening took place at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co in Okpo, South Korea.

    Rio Negro is the third in a class of six sister ships – the first two RIO DE LA PLATA and RIO DE JANEIRO have already entered service. Initially the vessels will be deployed on Hamburg Süd’s New Good Hope Express Service connecting Asia and east coast South America via South Africa. In approximately March or April 2009 the ships will transfer to the company’s Europe – east coast South America service with the Monte class of vessel currently deployed there transferring to the Asia – South Africa – South America service.

    The death has occurred in Las Condes, Chile of Mr Ricardo Claro (74), chairman of Chile’s carrier Compania Sudamericana de Vapores (CSAV). He died after suffering a heart attack at his home.

    CSAV will complete replacing 2,500-TEU ships with 4,000-TEU vessels on the Asia (east coast South America via South Africa service (ASAX) during 2009 and will go it alone by adding a fifth and sixth vessel to its ECSA-South Africa-Middle East (Marco Polo) service currently offered with CMA CGM, of which the latter company has signalled its intention of leaving. The additional CSAV ships will enter service in early December 2008 and January 2009.

    Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) South Africa has announced a revision of the present bunker surcharge applicable in the Europe/Southern Africa/Europe trade (SAECS). Effective 1 December the revised bunker surcharge will become:

    USD410 per TEU for general purpose cargo
    USD547 per TEU for reefer cargo

    MITSUI OSK Lines intends dissolving its current joint service between Asia, South Africa and east coast South America which it has operated with Pacific International Line (PIL). MOL has instead announced a new independent service on the Asia-East Coast South America trade starting in January 2009.

    “By replacing some of current 3,000 TEU class vessels with larger and faster ships, MOL will provide stable cargo capacity and higher schedule integrity to meet customer demand in this growing market. Calling ports and transit times remain unchanged from the existing service,” says the company in a statement.

    Eleven ships will be employed on this independent MOL service, six of them 4,250-TEO vessels and five 3,000-TEU. The fixed day weekly port rotation remains unchanged from the existing service and will be:

    Kobe – Yokohama – Nagoya – Pusan – Shanghai – Yantian – Hong Kong – Singapore – Santos – Buenos Aires - Montevideo – Paranagua – Sao Francisco do Sul – Santos – Rio de Janeiro – Cape Town – Port Elizabeth – Singapore – Hong Kong – Kobe.

    The new service will commence at Kobe on 26 January 2009.

    SAS SPIOENKOP in historic visit to Vietnam

    SAS SPIOENKOP during a visit to Port Elizabeth. Picture by Dayle Coomb

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 31 October 2008 – The South Africa frigate SAS SPIOENKOP, under the command of Capt Christopher Manig has arrived in HCM City of the first ever visit by a South African warship to the Asian country.

    The ship will remain in HCM City until 5 November, during which the crew of 16 officers and 99 ratings will interact with their Vietnam counterparts including visiting some of the local schools and charitable organisations. Crew will also have the opportunity of sightseeing.

    Spioenkop is on a three-month, six-country deployment to the Far East lasting from 16 September until 7 December. During this period the ship will or has visited the following:

    Singapore (3 – 8 October), Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China (16 – 20 October), Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia (25 to 29 October), Ho Chi Minh City in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (31 October to 5 November), Cochin in India (14 to 20 November) and Port Louis in Mauritius (26 November to 1 December). She returns to Simon’s Town on 7 December.

    During her deployment she is conducting exercises with the Singapore Navy, the People’s Liberation Amy and Navy of the People’s Republic of China, the Indian Navy and the Mauritian Coast Guard.

    A number of diplomatic related activities are also taking place in the countries visited, using the ship with her advanced appearance and modern capabilities as an ideal platform on which to conduct diplomatic events in foreign ports.

    Botswana bans animals from Trans-Kalahari

    Following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease Botswana has imposed an immediate ban on the movement of all live cloven-hoofed animals in the Ghanzi district.

    Botswana’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry says in a statement issued that all livestock importers and exporters are to take note of this ban. It follows an outbreak recorded in the Kuke area of the Ghanzi veterinary district.

    "All cattle slaughter facilities, including the BMC abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown, are closed with immediate effect," said the statement.

    Pic of the day – MONIQUE

    The general cargo freighter MONIQUE (ex Tomasina) (11,867-gt) with a deck cargo of buses in Cape Town harbour in May 2004. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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