- Maritime Services

  - News

  - Ship Movements

  - The Shipping World

  - Cruise News &

  - Events Diary

  - Sea Stories

Naval Review

  Port Operators
Transnet National
    Ports Authority

South African ports
  - General Info
  - Durban
  - Richards Bay
  - Cape Town
  - Port Elizabeth
  - East London
  - Mossel Bay
  - Saldanha Bay
  - Port Nolloth

  - Walvis Bay
  - Luderitz

  - Lobito 
  - Luanda 

  - Douala 
  - Port Limbe 

  - Bonny 
  - Port Harcourt 
  - Onne 
  - Lagos 

  - Cotonou 

  - Lome 

  - Tema 

  Cote d'Ivoire
  - Abidjan 

  - Conakry 

  - Maputo 
  - Beira    
  - Nacala

  - Toamasina 

  - Dar es Salaam 

  - Mombasa 

  - Port Louis 

  - Legal News &

  - Glossary of
     Maritime Terms

   - Useful Links

  - Contact Us

  - Home

  - P
AIA Manual

Receive our

Enter your e-mail address below
Enter your City, Country location below



Ports & Ships Maritime News

19 April, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson


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

Improve your branding with your banner on this site and tap into our large readership - contact info@ports.co.za


Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return




Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The lovely lines of CRYSTAL SERENITY (68,870-gt, built 2003) which was in Cape Town earlier this month. Picture by Aad Noorland

News continues below...

News continues below…


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Pretoria, 18 April 2011 - South Africa’s inclusion to the Brics has added new geopolitical significance to the continent, says International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana- Mashabane.

Brics - the powerful grouping of emerging markets Brazil, Russia, India and China, with SA being the newest member - is gaining muscle among global investors, and the African continent will also benefit through deeper cooperation in various areas.

Briefing media after the last week’s Sanya summit, Nkoana-Mashabane said Africa as a whole would benefit from South Africa being part of Brics, particularly in areas such as economic integration, trade and investment and improving good governance.

“Our fortunes [as African countries] are intertwined. As much as we didn’t go to the AU to seek a mandate to join Brics, SA diplomats speak for the wellbeing of SA and the African continent as a whole,” Nkoana-Mashabane told a media briefing on Thursday.

Nkoana-Mashabane said with the continent recognised as a growing region, Africa could expect to benefit economically in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, IT and also help Africa to benefit from more equitable world governance bodies.

She said Brics' push for the reform of the global institutions of governance and the UN will ensure that African issues enjoy centre-stage in deliberations within the UN Security Council, the IMF and World Bank.

The meeting, which brought together the five fastest growing economies, resulted in a statement elaborating their vision for common development and shared prosperity, and put forward many new initiatives for global economic governance.

The three-day meeting, which ended on Friday, also called for the speedy achievement of the targets for the reform of the International Monetary Fund agreed to at the recent G20 summit, and reiterated that the governing structure of the international financing institution should reflect the changes in the world economy.

The leaders vowed to support the reform and improvement in international monetary systems for the establishment of a stable, reliable and broad-based international reserve currency system.

The five Brics nations decided to hold a meeting of high-level representatives in the latter part the year in China to discuss security issues, engage in joint research on economic and trade issues, encourage cooperation in sports and promote cooperation in scientific, technological and innovation cooperation. – BuaNews

News continues below...


Tanzania sends in army to guard ships searching for oil

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Dreaded sight - pirate skiffs coming alongside

Tanzania has ordered its army to act as armed guards or escorts on board ships and vessels searching for oil off its coast.

The prime minister, Mizengo Pinda told parliament on the weekend that increased pirate attacks have compelled Tanzania to upgrade its security offshore. “The first step has been to provide escorts to vessels that request security assistance when they enter our territorial waters and the second is for the government to provide protection to vessels exploring for gas and oil in our ocean,” he said.

Tanzania has licensed 17 international companies to search for oil or gas offshore and onshore. Somali pirates have meanwhile made a number of incursions into Tanzania’s zone of influence at the head of the Mozambique Channel. This has included several attacks on ships and yachts which has effectively made the region a no-go zone for most cruise ships and for the yachting fraternity. The region between Zanzibar, the Comores and Seychelles was a favourite haunt for recreational boating but is now considered a high risk area.

Tanzania also made a request to South Africa to assist with naval patrols in the area. Partly as a result of this a South African Navy frigate is currently on patrol in the northern parts of the Channel.

Piracy at record high

Piracy at sea hit an all-time high in the first three months of 2011, with 142 attacks worldwide, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report has revealed. The sharp rise was driven by a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia, where 97 attacks were recorded in the first quarter of 2011, up from 35 in the same period last year.

Worldwide in the first quarter of 2011, 18 vessels were hijacked, 344 crew members were taken hostage, and six were kidnapped, IMB reported. A further 45 vessels were boarded, and 45 more reported being fired upon.

“Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we’ve ever recorded in the first quarter of any past year,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Centre has monitored piracy worldwide since 1991.

In the first three months of 2011, pirates murdered seven crew members and injured 34. Just two injuries were reported in the first quarter of 2006.

Of the 18 ships hijacked worldwide in the first three months of the year, 15 were captured off the east coast of Somalia, in and around the Arabian Sea and one in the Gulf of Aden. In this area alone, 299 people were taken as hostage and a further six were kidnapped from their vessel. At their last count, on 31 March, IMB figures showed that Somali pirates were holding captive 596 crew members on 28 ships.

“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the violence and techniques used by pirates in the seas off Somalia,” said Captain Mukundan. He added: “The overwhelming number of vessels hijacked off Somalia took place east and north east of the Gulf of Aden. The positions of some of the attackers’ mother ships are known. It is vital that strong action is taken against these mother ships to prevent further hijackings.”

Large tankers carrying oil and other flammable chemicals are particularly vulnerable to firearm attack. “Three big tankers of over 100,000 tonnes deadweight have been hijacked off the Horn of Africa this year,” Captain Mukundan said. “Of a total of 97 vessels attacked in the region, 37 were tankers and of these, 20 had a deadweight of more than 100,000 tonnes.”

A number of countries are employing their navies to take a tough stance against piracy. In a recent show of force, commended by the IMB, the Indian navy captured 61 Somali pirates on a hijacked ship off India’s west coast.

Elsewhere, in the first quarter of 2011 nine incidents were reported off Malaysia, including the hijacking of a tug and barge off Tioman Island. Vessels were boarded in seven incidents by robbers armed with guns and knives.

Five incidents have been recorded for Nigeria, with three attacks against vessels in Lagos. Crews in the area are reporting increased violence, including one incident where all 27 crew members were injured. IMB’s concerns about an expansion of Nigerian-style piracy have been heightened by the hijacking of a chemical tanker off neighbouring Benin, which its captors finally directed to Lagos.

India send frigate to Somali coast

Following on from reports that seven Indian sailors have been kidnapped from the freed ship ASPHALT VENTURE (see our News Report for yesterday) despite payment of the ransom, India is understood to have diverted one of its warships active in the region to the Somali coast.

According to sources one of the Talwar class of frigates was dispatched to the region close to where the pirates held the Asphalt Venture from September last year, awaiting ransom for the ship and its 15 crew. When a ransom said to be US$ 3.6 million was dropped on the ship the captain was told he could leave, but seven Indian seafarers among the crew were taken ashore – the pirates apparently saying that they were to be held as hostages for 120 Somali pirates being held in India.

This brings to 53 the number of Indian sailors being held captive by Somali pirates on five different ships of which 17 have been prisoners of the pirates since 8 February, 2010. The five were captured with the Italian vessel SAVINA CAYLYN, for which ransom has still not been negotiated. - source TwoCircles.net (an Indian Muslim news service).

News continues below…


Maputo, 18 April – The governments of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a deepwater port in the Techobanine region, in the Matutuíne district of Mozambique’s Maputo province, as well as an interconnecting railway, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

Information published last week when the memorandum was signed set 2012 as the target for the possible launch of the project, which has an estimated cost of US$ 7 billion. The project is expected to take around four years to build on a plot of 30,000 hectares, 11,000 of which will be earmarked for industrial units.

Notícias also reported that Mozambique’s Transport and Communications minister, Paulo Zucula said that the private sector would likely provide funding for the project’s execution.

Amongst the goods expected to make use of this corridor, which will be the region’s transport backbone, are gas, agricultural products, fertiliser and minerals, notably coal, as well as crude oil and its derivatives.

This infrastructure has been planned since colonial times and was re-launched in 1999 when an agreement as signed by the government of Mozambique, Port Development Dobela and state port and rail company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique. (macauhub)

News continues below…


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
NSRI Table Bay’s Spirit of Vodacom. Picture by Ian Shiffman

NSRI Table Bay volunteers were activated shortly before midnight one night last week by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for urgent medical assistance from the 212 metre container ship CITY OF HONG KONG which was reporting a 44 year old Sri-Lankan crewman onboard suffering a suspected Myocardial Infarction (heart attack).

“Our NSRI Table Bay volunteer duty crew responded to our sea rescue base and a Metro EMS rescue paramedic high angle rescue team was activated to respond to our sea rescue base to join in the rescue operation,” reports Paula Leech, NSRI Table Bay station commander.

She said that NSRI Table Bay launched its sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom accompanied by four Metro EMS rescue paramedics. On arrival on-scene, 9 nautical miles north of Cape Town and in 5 to 7 metre swells and a gusting up to 45 knot south easterly wind, two Metro EMS rescue paramedics were transferred aboard the ship, using high angle equipment and the ships crane.

“While still on-board the ship the patient was stabilised by the Metro EMS rescue paramedics and then loaded into a Stokes basket stretcher and transferred onto our sea rescue craft using the ship’s crane and a high angle rescue technique.

"The operation was carried out off the ship’ stern due to very rough sea conditions.”

Leech said the patient was brought to the NSRI’s sea rescue base aboard the Spirit of Vodacom where he was transferred into a waiting Metro EMS ambulance and taken to a local hospital in a stable condition for further treatment.

“The sea rescue operation was completed at approximately 03h00 in the morning,” she said.

News continues below…


Cadet training and Unicorn

“Further to Capt Schuitemaker’s Mailbag comment (Ports & Ships 18 April 2011) regarding SAMTRA’s failure to mention Unicorn in the list of shipping companies currently employing South Africans.

This was a genuine oversight on SAMTRA’s part. Unicorn is in fact participating in the National Cadet Training Programme.

Unicorn should definitely have been included in the list as it plays a pivotal role in the training of South Africans. Our apologies!”

Petula Maurer
SAMTRA, Cape Town


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

AS VENUS (14,241-gt, built 1991) and tug LOTHENI (460-gt, built 2011), one of the latest batch of tugs built at Durban and launched into service earlier this year, seen arriving in Durban harbour on 4 April. Picture by Terry Hutson

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The bulker ORIGINATOR (38,954-dwt, built 1985) being turned at Maydon Wharf 1 to enable her to head out towards the open sea. Although she was berthed at Maydon Wharf 5, the manoeuvre was carried out opposite berth 1 where there is more width to the Maydon channel. Assisting her in this 180 degree operation is the tug NONOTI. Picture by Terry Hutson

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

Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all southern African ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Mombasa on the East Coast?

Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.

Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.


South Africa’s most comprehensive Directory of Maritime Services is now listed on this site. Please check if your company is included. To sign up for a free listing contact info@ports.co.za or register online