Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 17, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • South African Abalone bound for Asia seized in Mozambique

  • Pirates release MV THERESA VIII

  • YESTERYEAR and those classic ships - JAGERSFONTEIN

  • EU naval and air forces and Seychellois Coast Guard strike at pirate group

  • Scary video clip of tug being crushed by container ship

  • Pic of the day – DELPHIN VOYAGER



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    The container ship NILEDUTCH SHENZHEN (18,327-gt, built 2007) at Cape Town’s EM berth earlier in March. Picture by Aad Noorland

    South African Abalone bound for Asia seized in Mozambique

    Mozambique officials this week seized over two tonnes of abalone which was being smuggled into the country from South Africa. The haul was discovered on a 5-ton truck which was stopped along the Ressano Garcia-Maputo highway, hidden among a consignment of maize flour and potatoes.

    According to Mozambique reports the importer intended shipping the more than two tonnes of abalone from the port of Maputo to a destination in Asia, where abalone is regarded as a delicacy.

    The harvesting of abalone in South Africa requires a permit. It is not yet apparent whether the crop had been harvested illegally although this is suspected. – source AIM

    Pirates release MV THERESA VIII

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    MV Theresa VIII – image courtesy EU NAVFOR

    The MV Theresa VIII, a North Korean owned, Kiribati Flagged, chemical tanker with a crew of 28 and deadweight of 22, 294 tonnes, has been released by pirates on 16 March 2010, reports EU NAVFOR.

    Hijacked in the Somali Basin, 180 miles North West of the Seychelles on 17 November 2009, she has been held in the pirate stronghold of Haradera on the Somali coast.

    An unknown amount of ransom was exchanged on the morning of 16 March and the ship is now underway and heading out to sea. No immediate assistance has been requested but EU NAVFOR says it will continue to monitor the situation.

    EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM, and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

    YESTERYEAR and those classic ships - JAGERSFONTEIN

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    For a period of 17 years the classic Holland Africa Line JAGERSFONTEIN (10,500-gt) sailed between southern Africa and northern Europe, becoming one of the more popular passenger ships of that period. One of two ‘sister’ ships (the other being the Oranjefontein), Jagersfontein had a chequered start following her launch in March 1940, being seized by the occupying German forces and then later damaged and sunk in the Weichsel Estuary, where she was recovered at the end of hostilities. Virtually rebuilt, the ship finally entered service with Holland Africa in March 1950 on the run between Europe and southern Africa.

    Ports of call were Amsterdam, Southampton, Las Palmas, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Lourenco Marques and return. Powered by Sulzer diesels the ship had a service speed of 17 knots and carried approximately 160 passengers – 100 in first and 60 in economy.

    This picture of the ship sailing from Durban is by Willem Kruk

    EU naval and air forces and Seychellois Coast Guard strike at pirate group

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    HNLMS Tromp and the pirate whaler – picture courtesy EU NAVFOR.

    On 12 March, after receiving a report from MV ER LUBECK (Liberian Flag, German owner), that pirates in 2 skiffs had tried to hijack her, EU NAVFOR initiated a surge operation to intercept and disrupt the pirate group.

    The EU NAVFOR Flagship ITS ETNA tasked the EU NAVFOR Swedish and Luxemburg Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and EU NAVFOR Warship HNLMS TROMP against the pirate group consisting of one mother skiff and two skiffs.

    The attack on the LUBECK took place almost one thousand miles from the Somali coast and HNLMS TROMP proceeded at best speed to assist. The EU NAVFOR MPA continued to track the pirates and vectored the warship onto the suspected pirate position.

    On 14 March, on arrival at the scene of action, HNLMS TROMP launched her helicopter, located a skiff and was forced to fire several warning shots before the 10 metre long mother ship (whaler) stopped. A boarding party soon took control of the boat with two persons onboard. HNLMS TROMP continued to search the area and, the following day, found two suspicious skiffs with seven persons onboard about one hundred nautical miles from the whaler. Some equipment had been jettisoned but ladders and weapons were found onboard the skiffs. All equipment was confiscated and the mother ship was destroyed.

    At about the same time as the TROMP was disrupting the pirate group, and approximately one hundred nautical miles North West of the Seychelles, the Seychellois Coast Guard PB ANDROMACHE was guided by EU NAVFOR MPA onto another mother ship and 2 skiffs, which were believed to have been involved in an attempted hijacking on a Spanish tuna Fishing Vessel TXORI ARGI the day before. After that attack, the EU NAVFOR MPA monitored the pirate group and was able to direct the Seychelles Coast Guard on to the approximate position of the attack. Eight suspected pirates have been taken into custody.

    Scary video clip of tug being crushed by container ship

    Earlier this month in the Romanian port of Constanţa a harbour tug, believed to be named Vadeni was rendered completely helpless against the forces of a much larger container ship, CMA CGM DeBussy which crushed the tug against the Turkish freighter Haci Fatima Sari and what appears to be the quayside.

    Details of the incident appear to be scarce but miraculously there appears to have been no injuries. Watch this drama unfold on this 10 minute youtube clip HERE

    Pic of the day – DELPHIN VOYAGER

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    The cruise ship DELPHIN VOYAGER (23,287-gt, built 1990) arrived in Cape Town yesterday afternoon (16 March) at 3pm. Ian Shiffman reports that the pilot did an excellent piece of seamanship bringing the cruise ship into the V & A Waterfront in a 35km wind. DELPHIN VOYAGER joined another cruise ship DISCOVERY, which arrived on 15 March, at the same pier. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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