Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 28, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson


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  • First View – SAS UMKOMAAS

  • Companies fear chaos at border posts from Thursday

  • Piracy: Kenya reopens piracy court

  • IRISL ships face EU ports ban

  • CCFB requires 30 locos and 600 wagons for Sena line

  • NSRI report – Air Force responds to call for aid from bulker 100 n.miles off Cape Town

  • Pics of the day – LORELAY


    First View – SAS UMKOMAAS

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    The mine sweeping vessel SAS UMKOMAAS (M1499) in Durban Bay with the Durban city skyline forming a backdrop. During the FIFA soccer world cup the mine counter-measure vessel is on patrol duty off Durban protecting the approaches to the harbour. Picture by W/O Manny Gounden, SAN

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    Companies fear chaos at border posts from Thursday

    New legislation coming into effect on Thursday, 1 July 2010 will, it is feared, bring chaos to the border posts between South Africa and neighbouring states.

    Thursday is when the Immigration Amendment Act is implemented by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs. What it requires is that foreign truck drivers will be required to hold a work permit before being allowed to continue their journey into South African territory.

    Border posts such as those with Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana will be the worst affected, because stakeholders say they fear that many drivers will arrive at the gates without the necessary permits, expecting to be allowed through on 30-day visitor permits as in the past.

    The industry was advised in April of the imposition of the legislation but claim that there has not been sufficient time to handle all the applications. The Forum of Immigration Practitioners of South Africa said it has been assisting companies and drivers but the amount of applications suggests that not enough time was provided.

    The Forum has warned of chaos at the borders and says the trucks carrying perishables and which operate on tight delivery schedules will be the worst affected.

    The Department of Home Affairs says that the legislation is intended to encourage the use of South African drivers within South Africa and companies using foreign drivers will have to justify their continued use. Companies will have to prove they have tried to recruit South African drivers for the positions held by foreigners, or provide reasons why it was preferable to employ foreign drivers.

    “Any foreigner who works in South Africa requires a work permit,” said a department spokesman.

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    Piracy: Kenya reopens piracy court

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    Somali pirates being interrogated by EU naval forces. Picture EU NAVFOR

    Kenya has reopened its justice system to the trying in court of pirates captured at sea, even though few of those facing prosecution were arrested in Kenyan waters or were involved in attacking a Kenyan ship.

    The new court has been opened in the Shimo la Tewa prison in the port city of Mombasa and is being made possible with financial grants from the EU, Australia, Canada and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

    The respective countries and UN have made USD 9.3 million available to Kenya and the Seychelles to increase and improve facilities in the two countries towards holding the trials and, where found guilty, incarcerating pirates.

    Kenya's Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo made assurances to the pirate suspects being held for trial that they would get a fair hearing in Kenya.

    Earlier this year Kenya, where 18 Somali pirates had been guilty in previous court cases, announced its intention of withdrawing from trying pirates because of the strain these were placing on its legal and justice system. Kenya currently has over a hundred suspected Somali pirates in custody, most of them captured by warships of the EU or NATO forces operating offshore of Kenya, the Seychelles and Somalia.

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    IRISL ships face EU ports ban

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    IRISL’s renamed bulker AQUARIAN (25,768-gt, built 1985), the former Dignified, in Durban harbour in 2009

    According to a Lloyds List report, the EU is ready to impose sanctions on Iraq next month, which include an outright ban against Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), effectively prohibiting Iran's national shipping line vessels from entering any European port.

    Brussels is still in the process of drafting the punitive measures it plans to apply to Iran, and their precise content is yet to be disclosed. An announcement is expected on 26 July.

    Earlier this month, the US imposed additional sanctions on Iran, naming 41 new entities and individuals, including one scientist and enterprises linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the defence industry, as well as banks and IRISL, which also owns, controls or is represented by IRISL Benelux, Irano Hind Shipping Co and South Shipping Line Iran.
    Clare Hatcher, a consultant at Clyde & Co, said that if the EU declares sanctions against IRISL vessels, then it will become illegal for anyone to bring those vessels into European ports.

    However, there are also a number of queries about how a blanket ban would work. A security expert pointed out that there is such a thing as chartering. “If Iran wishes to continue to export, the only way you could stop it would be to put a complete ban on all vessels. But how do you know what the cargo is, and where it is coming from, until the manifest is produced?” He also questioned who would police any potential sanction-busting, and how.

    Meanwhile, IRISL's agents have been instructed and service providers have been advised to co-operate with customs in all destinations served by its vessels. Customers have been advised to comply with UN sanctions. - Eye for Transport

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    CCFB requires 30 locos and 600 wagons for Sena line

    The newly rehabilitated railway line between Moatize in Mozambique’s Tete province and the port of Beira, which will carry mainly coal from the mines at Moatize to the port, will require 30 diesel-electric locomotives and some 600 rail wagons.

    The new line is expected to carry up to five million tonnes of coal a year when it reopens early in 2011, in addition to a further one million tonnes of general goods including cotton, granite and tobacco.

    The line has been rebuilt by an Indian consortium made up of Rites, which is an Indian government-owned rail company, and the firm of Ircon (Indian Railway Construction Company).

    Track work along the line has been completed all the way to Sena but finishing work remains along sections. The section between Beira and Marromeu south of the Zambezi was opened earlier this year.

    The railway is known as the CCFB – Companhia dos Caminhos de ferro da Beira.

    Dredging of the approach channels which will enable larger ships to enter the river harbour is due to commence at the port of Beira shortly. However Beira is unlikely ever to be able to handle capesize vessels and consideration is already being given to building a new section of railway from Moatize into southern Malawi that will connect with the railway in that country. The Malawi railway network connects with the port of Nacala in northern Mozambique, where there is deepwater availability.

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    NSRI report – Air Force responds to call for aid from bulker 100 n.miles off Cape Town

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    The Turkish bulker PROUD 100 miles offshore of Cape Town. Picture courtesy 22 Squadron SAAF

    A dramatic rescue of an injured seafarer on a bulker 100 n.miles off the Cape Town coast on Saturday saw two South African Air Force Oryx helicopters being mustered along with crew and several NSRI swimmers.

    The seaman on board the Maltese-flagged, Turkish-owned and operated bulker PROUD (178,055-dwt, built 2009) had fallen, sustaining fractured ribs while the vessel was some 400 n.miles north of Cape Town. The ship was advised to head for Cape Town and when 100 n.miles offshore would be met by helicopters of the South African Air Force 22 Squadron based at Air Force Base Ysterplaat, Cape Town.

    Two Oryx helicopters from 22 Squadron were prepared and took off on Saturday afternoon, carrying two NSRI swimmers on board even though it was thought likely that the helicopters would be able to land on the capesize bulker. A duty doctor from the Metro Ambulance and Rescue Services had meanwhile relayed medical advice to the ship’s medical crew to stabilize the injured man pending the arrival of the aircraft.

    Each aircraft comprised two SAAF rescue pilots, a SAAF engineer, two NSRI swimmers and a Metro paramedic.

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    One of the two Oryx helicopters onboard the bulker PROUD attending to the medical evacuation of an injured seaman. Picture courtesy 22 Squadron

    “Extra fuel was transported aboard the two Air Force 22 Squadron helicopters to complete the rescue operation to casualty evacuate a 23 year old Turkish sailor suffering fractured ribs after falling through gaps in a stairwell aboard the bulk carrier Proud just before midnight on Friday night (25 June),” said Andre Beuster, NSRI Air Sea Rescue station commander.

    “The additional fuel was transferred in-flight during the 100 nautical mile flight to reach the ship North West of Cape Town. Sea conditions on-scene were 3.5 metre swells and a 20 knot South Easterly wind.

    “On arrival on-scene one of the Oryx helicopters landed on the bulk carrier and NSRI rescue swimmer Kim Germishuys and Metro paramedic Gary Wocker were taken to the ships medical room and the patient was stabilised and secured into a ‘medivac’ stretcher and brought to the helicopter and loaded aboard the helicopter.

    “The patient was flown to Air Force Base Ysterplaat and then transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition. The duration of the rescue flight was three hours.”

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    Back in Cape Town Metro paramedic Gary Wocker and NSRI ASR station commander Andre Beuster carry the patient to the ambulance. Picture courtesy 22 Squadron, SAAF

    Pics of the day – LORELAY

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    The Panama-flagged pipe layer LORELAY (21,143-gt, built 1974) which called in Cape Town last week to take bunkers. Lorelay is owned by Allseas Group of Switzerland and was the world’s first pipe laying ship to utilise dynamic positioning. Lorelay was built in 1974 as the bulker NATALIE BOLTEN and converted into a pipe laying vessel in 1986. The ship carries accommodation for up to 216 crew members. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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