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Ports & Ships Maritime News

11 April 2011
Author: Terry Hutson


Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

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The former Cape Town pilot boat AC CRAIGIE, now a hardworking workboat at Moma in central Mozambique. Picture by Neville West

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The South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) is seeking training berths from shipping companies or shipping managers for the purpose of training South African cadets as part of an initiative funded by the South African government to grow the country’s maritime capabilities and address the country’s high unemployment.

Shipping companies or managers who participate in the project will not be expected to bear any costs of training the cadets other than the cost of victuals and onboard incidentals.

The benefit to participating companies is that they train cadets to their standards and subsequently employ the cadets once qualified, without real cost to them.

There are added benefits to European shipowners¬ of employing SA Cadets and officers. These include:

  • South Africa is on the IMO Whitelist and Qualifications are fully STCW compliant

  • South Africa Certificates of Competency are recognised by UK, Australian, Danish, Belgium & other respectable maritime authorities

  • English language is generally spoken – higher education and nautical colleges conduct education in English

  • Work ethic – South Africans are generally regarded as having a good work ethic with a culture of ‘making a plan’ when required and a sense of responsibility. Companies that currently employ SA officers include – Maersk, Safmarine, Smit, Swire, BP, Stolt, Posh Semco, Stena, Tidewater, Sanko, and with respect to hotel staff - various cruise ship companies

  • A convenient time zone alignment with Europe – GMT +2 that enables easier communications

  • Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Two South African cadets on joining their ship, the motor vessel RED CEDAR. They are Luthando Skoti (Left) and Mhle Mdala.

    The extent to which South Africa can provide a suitable recruitment source is supported by the following:

  • Nautical Training institutions are compliant with IMO requirements as evidenced by a European Maritime safety Authority audit, conducted in 2010, of the country’s compliance with IMO requirements which resulted in few findings/observations on training institutions.

  • All accredited training institutions are audited by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in terms of training facilities and courses offered. These are renewed in 3 yearly cycles

  • South African training institutions are well respected throughout Africa and provide training to many countries on the continent that are not STCW white-listed
  • The country’s Merchant Shipping Act is based on and closely aligns with the UK MSA

  • Infrastructure is well established and of a generally high standard. (Travel, IT and Communications are to world standard)

  • The country is suffering from high unemployment and its youth represents a potentially large human resource pool that could be developed with a good long term prognosis. Currently, approximately half of the South African population is under 25 years of age

  • Limited but constructive union involvement in the maritime industry.

  • Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    The same two cadets ‘kitted out’ for their further training, Luthando Skoti (left) and Mhle Mdala

    Other factors for ship owners to consider are:

  • Reputable ship owners/managers who participate in the project will be contributing to growing the global maritime skills pool where a significant shortage currently exists

  • South Africa is generally seen as the entry point into Africa and participation in the project will assist shipowners/managers in gaining a foothold in this growing, and increasingly important market

  • The cadet training project has been supported for several decades by Safmarine, now a member of the world’s largest container ship company, AP Moller-Maersk

  • The International Maritime Employers Committee has expressed interest in participating in the project. To date the following companies are involved: Safmarine, Smit, Columbia Ship Management, OACL & Unicorn

  • Project details include:

  • SAMTRA – a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa - has been contracted by the South African government through SAMSA to manage a project of training cadets from recruitment through to preparation for final exams as Officer of the Watch

  • SAMTRA has been in operation for eight years and has successfully managed cadet training programmes for Safmarine, The National Port Authority & Stena

  • Training costs are being funded by the SA government through their agency SAMSA. This includes all costs normally associated with training a cadet (including cadet allowances, working gear, all travel, documentation, all required courses etc.). However, onboard victuals and other incidentals are to be borne by the participating companies

  • Participating shipping companies are expected to provide training berths, to mentor and monitor onboard training using either the participating company’s own training record book (which will be submitted to SAMSA for accreditation) or the SAMSA training record book which is based on the ISF record book

  • The first intake of cadets (who have completed their first year of theory studies) have recently commenced their pre-sea safety courses and induction. They will then be appointed to the above mentioned companies with further intakes joining the programme over the coming months.

  • Interested parties should contact the SAMTRA Training Manager – Pieter Coetzer on the email address: training@samtra.co.za Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    The SAMTRA main building in Simon’s Town

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    Evergreen, Wan Hai, MOL and Seacon form J/V to link Singapore/Malaysia and East Africa

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    Evergreen Lines’ Ever Given in Cape Town harbour. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Taipei - Evergreen Line, Wan Hai Lines (WHL), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Seacon have announced a weekly joint service commencing in late April serving the Asia East Africa service (AEF).

    Since May 2010, Evergreen and WHL have been operating the liner service between Colombo and East Africa with satisfactory results.

    To provide customers with greater efficiency and convenient transport service, Evergreen, WHL, MOL and Seacon (a Singapore carrier) will inaugurate the AEF route with a shortened rotation cycle starting from major Southeast Asia transhipment hubs in Singapore and Malaysia to Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.

    The AEF service will deploy six ships with a capacity of between 1,200-TEU and 1,350-TEU. Evergreen and WHL will supply two vessels each and MOL and Seacon, one each. The EVERGREEN DAMALI will initiate the weekly AEF service from Singapore on 24 April, 2011 with the following 42-day port rotation:

    Singapore-Tanjung Pelepas-Port Klang-Mombasa, Kenya -Dar es Salaam, Tanzania-Singapore.

    Air Force and NSRI evacuate sick seafarer from oil tanker off SA coast

    On Friday last week (9 April) the South African Air Force 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight was tasked with casualty evacuating a 32 year old Indian crewman off the French oil tanker BW UTAH (299,498-dwt, built 2007), suffering from a bleeding ulcer.

    The tanker was sailing off the South African coast opposite Port Elizabeth. Accompanying the helicopter from 15 Squadron were two NSRI swimmers and a Netcare 911 paramedic. The aircraft departed Port Elizabeth at approximately 14h30 to rendezvous with the BW Utah then about 30 n.miles east of Port Elizabeth.

    “NSRI East London were placed on alert to stand-by and to be ready to assist in the operation if necessary,” reported Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander.

    “On arrival on-scene the helicopter landed on the deck of the BW Utah where the paramedic initiated treatment to the patient who was found to be in a stable and satisfactory condition and the patient was loaded into the helicopter and flown to hospital in East London in a stable condition for further treatment.”

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    The fishing vessel JIH CHUN TSAI 68 which is believed to be operating as a pirate mother ship in the northern Arabian Sea – see below. Picture NATO

    A German-owned general cargo ship, SUSAN K has been highjacked while sailing 35 n.miles from the Omani coastline and 200 n.miles north-east of the port of Salalah, reports EU NAVFOR.

    On board the ship are 10 crewmembers – six Filipinos and four Ukranians. The ship was sailing from India and was bound for Sudan. EU NAVFOR reports the vessel is registered with the naval authorities who are monitoring the situation.

    In a separate report the NATO Piracy Reporting Centre says there are likely to be three Pirate Action Groups (PAG) in the area. “This is a minimum figure and there remains the possibility that other dhows have got underway from pirate anchorages and are now also in the area.

    NATO adds that the fishing vessel JIH CHUN TSAI 68 remains missing and may also be active as a pirate mother vessel in the Arabian Sea. It says at least one whaler is thought to be active possibly along the Kenyan coastline towards the Mozambique Channel. It says that there may also be skiffs in this area without a parent mothership.

    The South African frigate SAS MENDI remains on patrol in the northern Mozambique Channel operating out of the port of Pemba.

    New guidance on AIS use in pirate risk areas

    Regulation V/19 of the SOLAS Convention sets out navigational equipment to be carried on board ships, according to ship type. Under the regulation, ships fitted with AIS shall maintain AIS in operation at all times except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information.

    IMO Resolution A.917(22), Guidelines for the onboard operational use of shipborne automatic identification systems (AIS), states that “if the master believes that the continual operation of AIS might compromise the safety or security of his/her ship, the AIS may be switched off. This might be the case in sea areas where pirates and armed robbers are known to operate. Actions of this nature should always be recorded in the ship's logbook together with the reason for doing so.”

    The advice from EUNAVFOR and NATO in accordance with IMO Resolution A.917(22) and as articulated in BMP3 paragraph 7.5 states “the Master has the discretion to switch off the AIS if he believes its use increases the ship's vulnerability” and until now it has been recommended that AIS transmission within the Gulf of Aden be left on with restrictions, and outside the Gulf of Aden in other parts of the High Risk Area be turned off completely.

    In order that Counter Piracy Naval Operations have the required data from AIS transmissions to track real time positions of merchant ships, thus enabling them to mitigate risk of piracy to merchant shipping, the advice has been revised.

    The NEW recommendation is to leave AIS transmitting across the entire High Risk Area as set out in BMP3. AIS transmission should continue to be restricted to ship's identity, position, course, speed, navigational status and safety-related information. As noted, this is a change to the previous guidance which recommended that AIS be left on only in the Gulf of Aden. The decision on AIS policy remains at the discretion of the Master, however, if it is switched off during transit, it should be activated immediately at the time of an attack. – source Nato Shipping Centre

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    Pretoria, 10 April 2011 - President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-level South African delegation to the Third BRICS Summit to be held in China on 14 and 15 April.

    The summit will be held under the theme Broad Vision, Shared Prosperity.

    During the Summit, the BRICS Member States (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) will amongst others, focus on international issues of mutual interest; international economic and financial issues; development issues which will include discussions around Climate Change and sustainable development; and the programme of cooperation among BRICS Member States.

    South Africa will also participate in the BRICS Business Forum and the BRICS Banking Cooperation Mechanism on the sidelines of the Summit.

    “PRC’s President Hu Jintao, in his capacity as the BRICS Chairperson, invited on behalf of the other BRIC Member States, South Africa to join the BRICS mechanism and President Zuma to attend the Summit,” said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in a statement on Sunday.

    South Africa’s participation in the Third BRICS Summit comes within the context of a significant rise by emerging market economies, which have created a diplomatic initiative to serve as a platform for dialogue and cooperation it said.

    The purpose is also to advance the restructuring of global governance institutions, notably the global economic and financial architecture into one that is more equitable, balanced and rests on the pillar of multilateralism explained the department.

    “President Zuma will use the Third Summit also as an opportunity to convey appreciation for the country’s invitation to become a full Member State of BRICS and to articulate the strategic importance South Africa attaches to this partnership as well as to ensure synergy of the BRICS mechanism agenda with the development and economic priorities of Africa such as infrastructure development, minerals beneficiation and value-addition, and agro-processing.”

    The Summit was preceded by a BRICS Think-Tank Seminar in Beijing held in March this year under the theme Development, Cooperation and Sharing.

    An academic delegation from South Africa participated for the first time in the seminar and the country’s active contribution in this forum as a new BRICS member was welcomed.

    President Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies. – BuaNews

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    Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has reopened the last line to remain closed after the recent derailment near Ermelo. See our report on this derailment in the 4 April News Bulletin Another derailment costs SA and RBCT dearly.

    Two of the lines were closed blocking access from neighbouring mines but because of its stockpile policy RBCT said it wouldn’t be affected.

    News continues below…


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    The distinct blue colour scheme of Maersk Line is always an attractive reflective target for the cameraman, even in difficult light. This wasn’t the case when this photograph was taken from the waterside near the Durban Container Terminal. The ship is MAERSK VISBY (20,927-gt, built 2010) almost devoid of her cargo of containers. Picture by Trevor Jones

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    The MSC charter vessel BUNGA SEROJA DUA (89,776-gt, built 2007) must hold an all-comers record for the length of time needed to discharge and then load her cargo of containers at DCT. What the problem was we don’t know (but would like to) and given the lineup of ships outside port waiting for a berth we have to wonder at the matter. Bunga Seroja Dua first appeared on our Ships in Port listings on 30 March when she went to DCT berth 203. Later she moved to 108. At one stage she was reportedly working at a rate of 6 container moves an hour, which if true has to be some record. As per this photograph she sailed on Saturday, 9 April 2011 after an 11-day stay. Picture by Trevor Jones

    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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