- 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

17 October 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


News continues below...


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The Greek-owned, Bahamas-flagged bulker VALOPOULA (45,578-dwt, built 2000) in Cape Town harbour last week. Picture by Aad Noorland

News continues below…


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Phoenix about to disappear beneath the waves after being scuttled by the salvage team from Smit Salvage. Picture courtesy Smit Salvage/SAMSA

SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Association) last week brought down the curtain on the story of the shipwrecked tanker PHOENIX which went aground off the KwaZulu-Natal coast at the end of July, by saying there is no further point in pursuing the original owners for payment of salvage efforts.

SAMSA said the Phoenix was not covered with P&I cover to offset the costs of preventing oil pollution from the vessel and the subsequent wreck removal.

“Having this cover in place is the norm in international shipping practice,” said Capt. Nigel Campbell, executive manager, Southern Region. “In such instances the costs of protecting South Africa’s coastline are borne by the state.”

He said SAMSA had taken the initiative of trying to discover if the owners and/or the managers, Noha Marine Services of India, had sufficient assets available for an action to be launched either in South Africa, which would be in the form of an associated vessel, or assets that could be linked to the vessel, owners and managers in another state.

Campbell said that an internationally renowned company based in the Netherlands, which specialised in this type of search, was retained to advise SAMSA’s attorneys and to establish if any association existed.

“The research indicated that

  • The Phoenix registered owners appear as A & K Shipping Group Inc. of Belize although Noha Marine Services is reflected as ‘Group Owner’ which leads us to believe they are the beneficial owner; this would need to be proven in court.

  • A & K Shipping has an address in London; however this is a virtual address providing a front for companies by giving them a postal address.

  • Noha Marine manages two vessels, Mary Voyager, a 1989 landing craft of 594-gt, this vessel may have been sold to Nigerian interests and Noha Pride, a 1971 built tug of 210-gt. It is unlikely that either vessel would trade to South Africa and both are considered worthless in terms of their realisable value.

  • Noha Marine are alleged to be the owners and managers of the tanker ITP JACKSON which while purportedly carrying a cargo of oil from Nigeria to India suffered a massive explosion off the Nigerian coast killing five crew members. Noha Marine did not even inform the families of the accident. The Nigerian Government is currently probing the activities of the vessel as there are claims that there was no cargo on board at the time of the accident.

  • Noha Marine managed or owned the MV AMUL, which was also on a voyage for scrapping, sank off the Eastern Cape Coast in 2005, fortunately with no loss of life. The crew were rescued by the SMIT AMANDLA.

  • Noha Marine’s financial statements indicate that in 2010 they made a net profit of US$ 17,500 and the balance sheet shows a net balance of $72,000 with secured and unsecured loans of $ 343,589.

  • Noha Marine’s registered address appears to be the apartment of the one of the director’s mother.”

    Capt. Campbell said that in the event that SAMSA decided to pursue litigation in another country it is considered likely that assets would be stripped prior to the commencement of litigation.

    “Given the complexities of the corporate veil, an Equatorial Guinea-registered ship, Belize-registered company and Indian-registered managers and owners, any form of recourse is likely to be fruitless and an unnecessary waste of funds.”

    News continues below…


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    FS Nivose, the French patrol frigate on which exercises were held last week involving the French, South African and Mozambique navies. Picture by Terry Hutson

    The Mozambique news agency Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique reports that France and South Africa last week began joint military exercises in the Mozambique Channel as part of a strategy of fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean.

    Quoting sources in the French Embassy, the report said the exercises were carried out on board the French Navy frigate FS NIVOSE, with naval officers from France, South Africa and Mozambique on board. The exercise was code-named ‘Oxide’.

    The exercise commenced after the French ship docked in the northern Mozambique port of Pemba, which is being used by the South African Navy as a forward base for its own anti-pirate patrol that was set up at the request of Mozambique and Tanzania earlier this year.

    South Africa and France conduct bi-annual naval exercises but this year is the first to involve the Mozambique Navy. According to the French Embassy “the theme of this year’s exercise is the monitoring of the Mozambique Channel in the context of the fight against piracy.” The exercises were also to promote cooperation between the three navies, the exchange of information and training of military personnel.

    A number of attacks against ships have been made by pirates in the approaches to the Mozambique Channel including the seizure of the Mozambique fishing vessel VEGA 5 last December, an incident that led directly to South Africa committing naval and air force assets to guarding the channel against further incursions by pirates.

    More recently pirates have attacked several ships and an oil rig off the coast of Tanzania in the approaches to the channel.

    News continues below...


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    SAS Charlotte Maxeke S102, one of three Type 209 submarine in the SA Navy. Submariners will no longer have to travel overseas for training. Picture by Clinton Wyness

    The South African Navy has opened its new Submarine Escape Training Simulator (SETS) in Simon’s Town, reports defenceWeb. In an article written by Dean Wingrin, the authoritative publication reports that the simulator will be used to train submariners for submarine escape procedures and that it means the SA Navy will no longer have to send its submariners overseas for training.

    The report said that each of the navy’s approximately 120 operational submariners will have to undergo this training annually.

    The facility was opened by the deputy minister of defence and military veterans, Thabang Makwetla.

    He said it was particularly important against the background of the recent recognition by the cabinet of the escalation of maritime crime and piracy in African waters. The deputy-minister said the submarines would greatly enhance South Africa’s ability in combating crime and piracy in its region and “more broadly in the waters of the continent.”

    defenceWeb said that SETS formed part of Project Wills, under which three Type 209 submarines were acquired as part of the arms deal. Prior to the building of the simulator, submariners who had delivered the three submarines to South Africa had completed their training in Germany.

    Wingrin wrote that during the SETS design phase the SA Submarine Service benchmarked the design against German and Swedish submarine escape simulators. However, he wrote, the South African Navy’s SETS is unique “in that it contains a full scale replica of the tower of the Type 209 submarine as purchased by South Africa, including unique modifications.”

    He said that with 12 countries operating the 209 type, the simulator is one of seven worldwide, and that interest shown by foreign navies including Argentina and India in using the local facility could have positive spin-offs. Source defenceWeb.co.za

    News continues below…


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Durban’s eThekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC) is co-partnering a maritime summit on the economic value of Durban as a port city. The summit takes place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on Wednesday, 26 October 2011.

    The Durban summit seeks to unpack ‘The Economic Benefits of Durban as a Port City’ and to examine opportunities for growth and development while looking at the critical challenges that exist in Durban, from which can come practical recommendations for action to the relevant authorities in the port administration and the city.

    “Global trends dictate that for successful port and urban development it has become necessary to enhance the relationship between city government, port authorities, operators and users of facilities and services thus promoting public-private partnership for broader economic development,” says Basil Ndlovu, chief executive officer for the EMC.

    The EMC is partnering with Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), the Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit at the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

    Plenary speakers that have agreed to participate include Professor Trevor Jones of the University of KwaZulu-Natal who will give an address on the economic value of a port city and the maritime supply chain; Selvan Pillay of Transnet who will provide an overview of the Port of Durban; and Andrew Mather of eThekwini Municipality who will speak on the Port/City developments.

    Plenary speakers coming from private industry include Andrew Thomas, CEO of Ocean Africa Container Lines who will address the summit on the Durban operating environment from the perspective of the South African Association of Ship Owners and Agents (SAASOA); Dave Watts of the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) who will provide an overview of the Durban freight environment; and Rob Deane, MD of Elgin Brown and Hamer who will provide an overview of the boat and ship building and repair sector.

    Other areas which have been identified as key drivers of economic growth in the maritime sector and which will be covered are Enterprise development; Infrastructure Development and Access to Market and Finance; Maritime Skills Development; and Port City Tourism.

    Further details of the summit and bookings to attend can be made through the EMC, c/o Lwandile Mabuza at 031 311 4247 or email at MabuzaL@durban.gov.za

    News continues below…


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Mpho Diale, chairman of Fly Me and John La Warne, the company’s chief executive, at the launch of Fly Me in Durban last Friday. Picture by Clinton Wyness

    The first two of a fleet of Sikorsky S76 12-passenger helicopters have arrived in Durban to launch a new offshore service provided by Fly Me in association with French aircraft company Heli Union.

    Fly Me introduced itself at a function at Durban’s Virginia Airport on Friday, where the two S76 helicopters were on display for guests mainly from the maritime industry. When the service commences however it will operate from a dedicated landing pad at the new King Shaka International Airport in Durban, where the aircraft will be available for providing deep sea and offshore crew changes.

    This is an area where Durban has been lacking recently and where in many cases shipping firms have had to charter one of the Durban port helicopters to make offshore transfers. Now, with the professional landside assistance of Menzies Aviation, all crew members and supplies will be personally escorted through King Shaka International Airport through check-in, screening and customs clearing processes.

    From there crew will undertake a detailed safety briefing before being escorted to the aircraft in a hassle-free handling process, and flown to their ship offshore or passing Durban deep sea.

    Crew (or surveyors etc) returning from vessels at sea will be collected from the aircraft and taken through the airport’s screening and customs processes – crew transiting internationally will be checked in and directed to their respective boarding gate.

    The new S76 helicopters have a range capability enabling rendezvous to be made with ships 150 n.miles off the port.

    King Shaka International Airports is an official Port of Entry in terms of legislation governing ports of entry in South Africa and Off Port Limit transfers can be undertaken for personnel and goods during airport operating hours between 05h00 and 22h00. The Off Port Limit regulation applies to offshore ship servicing, Sapref oil discharge crew and pilots for the single buoy (SBM) mooring near Isipingo, ship surveys, chemists, technicians, divers etc, crew exchanges at sea, medical evacuations, transfer of doctors, lawyers, ships agents etc, and the transfer of goods including mail for an offshore ship.

    Fly Me’s CEO John La Warne told Ports & Ships that Fly Me, operating in partnership with Heli Union, has been appointed as the dedicated Off Port Limit agent operating from King Shaka International Airport. He said that the establishment of Fly Me in partnership with Heli Union and with Menzies Aviation to for the airport’s landside operations, has been signed off by all relevant authorities with regards to offshore transfers and movements. These authorities include the SA Revenue Services (Customs Border Control Unit), the SA Police Services, Department of Home Affairs and Immigration Services, the Department of Health (Port Health), the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the State Security Agency, the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and other agencies within King Shaka Airport.

    La Warne said that Fly Me was bringing a number of additional S76 and other type helicopters including a VIP S76 to South Africa and hinted that the Durban service could be extended to other ports such as Cape Town.

    The chairman of Fly Me, Mpho Diale said the advent of the service meant new business for Durban and gave out a message to all those ships passing along the South African coast that the port once again has the appropriate aircraft to intercept with them up to 150 miles offshore and effect safe reliable transfers. “Let’s develop this business for Durban and South Africa,” he said. “At present most of those ships simply pass us by because Durban has lacked the ability of providing a fast, reliable offshore service.”

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    One of two Sikorsky S76 12-passenger helicopters arrives at Durban’s Virginia Airport ahead of the launching of Fly Me’s new offshore service from King Shaka International Airport. Picture by Clinton Wyness


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Djibouti harbour

    DP World, operator of the Djibouti port container terminal has taken part in the development of an internet-connected, solar-powered community station at Djibouti.

    The upgraded SafeTStop facility which is situated close to the Doraleh container terminal operated by DP World, is strategically located along the busy corridor through which more than 800 trucks transit every day. It is one of 23 operated by DP World’s project partners, Family Health International (FHI) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

    Powered by solar panels and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) Internet, the community station now runs three computers, a refrigerator, lights, fans, and several charge points, allowing truckers and local residents to access health-related software and information on road conditions, charge cell phones and make short VoIP calls to relatives elsewhere along the Djibouti-Ethiopia transport corridor.

    “The successful upgrading of the SafeTStop in Djibouti is another tangible step in our programme to develop medical and educational capacity along transport corridors in Africa, said Joost Kruijning, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, Africa.

    “DP World is committed to the development of communities in which we operate, with particular focus on bringing the benefits of major infrastructure projects to urban and rural communities. We commend the work done by USAID, FHI and the government of Djibouti, our partners in this first-of-its-kind project in the Horn of Africa.”

    The station will also support the establishment of community micro-businesses, such as the sale of cold beverages and evening entertainment with movies and sports events projected on outside walls.

    The upgrade has been jointly funded by grants from DP World, its supplier South African-based IT provider Dimension Data, and sister company Economic Zones World (EZW), while Dubai-based company Intersat, which manufactures the solar-powered connectivity hardware, contributed with labour and reduced the cost of the hardware.

    DP World is set to open a much larger, primary-care clinic close to the facility, two internet connected solar-powered clinics in Mozambique and Senegal this year, and a series of health posts in Puntland, Somalia by the end of 2012.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Something of an unusual name for a ship, the South Korean-owned and managed, Maltese-flagged chemical and products tanker BULL (50,542-dwt, built 2009) in Cape Town harbour last week. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    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