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Ports & Ships Maritime News

10 June 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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

SEND NEWS REPORTS AND PRESS RELEASES TO info@ports.co.za

News continues below...
FIRST VIEW – E WHALE / ABBY

e whale rotcro 470 The combined oil and ore bulker E WHALE (319,869-dwt, built 2010, IMO 944 5461) which has been under arrest in Table Bay for several years, sailed for destination unknown at the weekend. Earlier in the week the ship entered port to take bunkers and at some stage she was renamed ABBY. When leaving Cape Town her next port was described as Port Elizabeth.

The company that previously owned the ship, TMT (Today Makes Tomorrow) has been involved in several legal battles resulting in a number of ships being detained, E Whale among them. In 2013 the owner, Nobu Su was successful in winning a stay of execution against the ship in a Cape Town court but it now looks like the creditors have finally won the day. Any further details would be welcome.

Picture: Ian Shiffman

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RENAMO ATTACKS MORE ROAD CONVOYS, WANTS MOZAMBIQUE TO BE SPLIT

mozambique political 400 px
Map of Mozambique. Renamo has previously claimed it will divide the country into a North and a South Mozambique using the Save River as a border.

For the fifth consecutive day, on Friday gunmen of Mozambique’s former rebel movement Renamo opened fire against a convoy of vehicles on the country’s main north-south highway, near the small town of Muxungue in the central province of Sofala.

This time, however, there were no casualties. According to a team from the independent television station STV who accompanied the convoy, gunmen opened fire on one of the military vehicles protecting the convoy when it was about six kilometers out of Muxungue.

The radiator was holed, and so the military vehicle had to turn back. But none of the other 1,000 or so vehicles in the convoy was hit, and nobody was killed or injured. STV stayed with the convoy for the full 100 kilometres to the Save river, and then accompanied the return convoy back to Muxungue. There were no further incidents.

But the attacks on the previous four days had all resulted in casualties. Staff at the Muxungue rural hospital told STV they had treated ten people wounded in the Monday to Thursday ambushes, one of whom had died of his injuries.

A military source, who requested anonymity, said that that ten people, both civilians and soldiers, had died in the ambushes. One of them was a Chinese citizen. The bodies of people who die outside of the hospital are not taken there, and so are not in the hospital statistics.

Meanwhile, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama has threatened to divide the country in two. The same threat was made a few days earlier by the party’s general secretary, Manuel Bissopo. Dhlakama’s words indicate that Bissopo’s bluster was not an individual aberration, but is Renamo policy.

Dhlakama was speaking on Friday from Gorongosa district by mobile phone to a meeting in Maputo of representatives of religious congregations who were trying to persuade him to end Renamo military activities. They weren’t successful and were given the brush-off, with Dhlakama accusing the churches of conniving with the government.

With television crews filming the proceedings and listening to every word, Dhlakama then threatened that unless the government conceded to Renamo’s demand for “parity” in the armed forces between Renamo and the ruling Frelimo Party, then Renamo would divide the country.

He could see no problem in this and quoted, with apparent approval, several other “divided countries” – namely Sudan and South Sudan, North and South Korea, and the Federal and Democratic Republic of Germany prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Dhlakama did not explain precisely how he proposes to split the country or where the dividing line would be drawn. – AIM & STV

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MSC CRUISES CURTAILS INDIAN OCEAN TENDER LANDINGS!

Inhaca island aerial 470

Report by Vernon Buxton

A 20% landing rate at Barra Lodge and a 30% chance of landing at Madagascar’s Anakoa has resulted in South African cruise itinerary changes for 2014.

MSC Cruises will no longer call at Barra Lodge but instead at Inhaca Island during its 4-night cruise itinerary…and the 7-night cruise to Madagascar now also includes a stop at Inhaca, as well as at Madagascar’s Fort Dauphin, with Anakoa being taken off the route.

“Unfortunately, both Barra Lodge and Anakoa are open ocean landings and are dependent on prevailing weather conditions,” said Allan Foggitt, marketing and sales director, MSC Cruises SA. Other itinerary changes include longer stops at Portuguese Island…and Inhaca being added as a new destination in Mozambique.

Inhaca Island is a Mozambican sub-tropical island off the East African coast. The 52 km² island separates Maputo Bay to the west from the Indian Ocean off its eastern shores.

Inhaca has long been a desired itinerary for cruise enthusiasts, with passengers being able to enjoy both the islands of the Inhaca Archipelago. This paradise offers a choice of seafood restaurants, bars and curio stalls.

MSC has partnered with Inhaca’s Pestana Lodge, a popular stop for its tropical vegetation, lush gardens, warm hospitality and delicious food. By partnering with the lodge MSC guests will be able to enjoy outdoor pools and the surrounding hospitality.

Vernon Buxton for Ports & Ships

Pestana Lodge
Pestana Lodge

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SA DEVELOPING BLUE ECONOMY STRATEGY

4 Indonesia 

Mendukung Bumi Tersenyum Kembali den

Pretoria – In order to make full use of its oceans’ potential, the South African government is in the process of developing a blue economy strategy, the Department of Environmental Affairs said on Monday (9 June).

“South Africa has large ocean spaces and we are beginning to appreciate the value of this vital national asset and how it can contribute to our livelihoods and economy,” said Environmental Affairs Deputy Director General Dr Monde Mayekiso.

He said technology was unlocking the resources that lie within the ocean and the sustainable use of these resources will have a meaningful contribution towards the ability to create jobs in years to come.

“Much of our ocean remains unexplored and therefore there is a need to urgently gather information and describe what resources are available and how they can be used sustainably,” he said.

Mayekiso was speaking at a meeting with various stakeholders in Port Elizabeth, following the gazetting of the White Paper on the National Environmental Management of the Ocean (NEMO) for implementation.

The White Paper on NEMO, which was approved by Cabinet in December 2013, aims to govern activities and role players with a stake in the ocean, in order to ensure optimal and sustainable use of the marine environment.

The National Development Plan identified ocean economy as one of the key drivers to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.

Dr Mayekiso noted that the policy is in accordance with the South African constitution and is relevant to international laws, domestic legislation which includes the National Environment Act and associated supporting legislations.

“A number of key areas such as Aquaculture, Marine Transport, Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration would be crucial in growing the economy providing much needed jobs and improving prosperity while ensuring environmental sustainability and integrity,” Dr Mayekiso said.

World Oceans Day
Prior to the engagement with the stakeholders, the department joined the rest of the world in celebrating the annual World Oceans Day (WOD) at the Bayworld Aquarium in Port Elizabeth, on Saturday.

This year’s WOD was celebrated under the theme: “Together we have the power to protect our ocean”, which recognises the impact of climate change on oceans and people.

As part of the celebrations, the department also held information sessions on Saturday with youth from the New Brighton area and its surrounds. The department officials interacted with pupils from various schools with an aim to create interest in learners to pursue a career in the environment sector.

As the three-day celebrations drew to an end, the department said it was looking forward to working with other departments and government agencies to effectively explore the use, protection and management of the precious oceans. – SAnews.gov.za

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SCORES DIE AS REFUGEE BOAT SINKS OFF HORN OF AFRICA

531edc6f6 unhcr image Gulf 

of Aden 470
Plucking bodies from the sea. Picture: UNHCR

The United Nations refugee agency says that 62 people are confirmed to have died when their boat foundered while trying to cross the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, making it the deadliest sinking this year.

“We are still seeking information, but it is now confirmed that a boat carrying 60 people from Somalia and Ethiopia and two Yemeni crew sank last Saturday in the Red Sea,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.

The victims were reportedly buried by local residents after their bodies washed ashore in Yemen's Al Jadeed area.

“The tragedy is the largest single loss of life this year of migrants and refugees attempting to reach Yemen via the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden,” Mr. Edwards said.

The tragedy follows previous incidents in January, March and April, bringing the known total of deaths at sea of people trying to reach Yemen to at least 121 so far this year.

“UNHCR strongly believes that every life counts and is working to prevent the alarming loss of life at sea and indifference to people desperately needing protection,” said Mr. Edwards.

“We are reiterating our call for Governments in the region to strengthen their search-and-rescue capacities, their arrangements for securing safe disembarkation of those rescued and proper identification, and assistance and referral of vulnerable people in need of protection and assistance,” he added.

UNHCR stands ready to support Yemen in these activities, along with other measures to boost the protection system in the region. The agency has documented the arrival of 16,500 refugees and migrants on the Yemeni coast during the first four months of 2014, significantly less than the 35,000 received in the same period last year.

Over the past five years, more than half-a-million people (mainly Somalis, Ethiopians and Eritreans) have crossed the dangerous waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea to reach Yemen.

According to UNHCR, boats are overcrowded and smugglers have reportedly thrown passengers overboard to prevent capsizing or avoid detection. Search-and-rescue officials say the practice has resulted in hundreds of undocumented casualties in recent years. – UN News Service

News continues below…

TANZANIA ALLOCATES LAND FOR USE AS DRY PORT

Tanzania allocates land for use as dry port Dar es Salaam container 

terminal 470
Dar es Salaam Container Terminal – dry ports are needed to help reduce congestion and ease the traffic flow

Tanzania’s Ministry of Transport has decided to allocate land to be used as a dry port to serve land-locked countries using Dar es Salaam port, as well as to increase the port’s efficiency, reports the Tanzanian Daily News.

The dry port will be situated on 160 hectares of land along the Mandela Expressway in Dar es Salaam.

Minister for Transport Dr Harrison Mwakyembe announced this during a meeting ahead of a tour of the port and other facilities by representatives from Katanga in southern DRC.

The DRC is the second largest user of the port of Dar es Salaam, accounting for 25 percent of the total transit traffic. This has increased from 155,611 tonnes in 2004 to over 1.1 million tonnes last year. The minister said the establishment of dry ports should be seen as a means of strengthening Tanzania’s port and business relations with its neighbours. Among these recommendations, the two countries agreed to provide a list of licensed and approved clearing and forwarding agents to avoid theft and other problems. Last month Tanzania Ports Authority opened a liaison office in Lubumbashi in the DRC to encourage and ease the flow of traffic to the port at Dar es Salaam.

There was also agreement to establish a dry port at Kasumbalesa, on the DRC-Zambia border. This would assist with reducing congestion while easing the transportation of goods. – Tanzania Daily News

ALBEDO CREW FREE AFTER MORE THAN 3 YEARS IN CAPTIVITY

ALBEDO 

20130718 Naham3 tied astern MV Albedo 470
The ill-fated container ship Albedo which sank while in pirate hands off Somalia, with the loss of life of several of the crew and pirates. In the picture is the captured fishing boat NAHAAM 3 to which the Albedo’s crew was supposed to have been transferred.

The 11 seafarers from the sunken container ship ALBEDO made their escape to freedom when they climbed through a window in the room where the pirates were holding them and walked away, eventually arriving in Kenya.

The Malaysian ship Albedo (10,859-gt, built 1993) was captured by Somali pirates in November 2010 and taken to Somalia where the crew was kept hostage on board. However the ship’s owner was unable to arrange payment for all the crew, although a Pakistani/UAE businessman did enable seven of the seafarers to be allowed to return home after payment of a reduced ransom for those seven.

Eleven of the crew, all non-Muslims were however kept back and have remained in custody, all but forgotten by a world that is turning its attention to other parts where piracy remains a major problem.

Albedo subsequently sank at her anchorage with the crew and a number of pirates on board during a storm in July 2013. It was reported that a number of seafarers and pirates died when the ship sank. See the PORTS & SHIPS report of that incident HERE - use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page.

After making their way out from under the noses of their captors, the 11 seafarers were found by Somali security forces in Galmudug region. They were then taken to a base from where they flew to Kenya.

“It is great news that they are at least free... given what they have been through, they are all in good health,” said John Steed, a former army colonel who has spent years trying to negotiate the seafarers’ release. He arrived in Kenya with the men.

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

Gateway port 470
Gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

PICS OF THE DAY – TRANSOCEAN MARIANAS and PERIDOT

Peridot Transocean 

marianas tow out IMG 0157
Peridot IMG 0168 resize 470

The oil rig TRANSOCEAN MARIANAS departed from Cape Town last Friday (6 June) behind the tug PERIDOT and was then accompanied by the PACIFIC DUCHESS which is escorting the tow to the rig’s drill location off Mossel Bay. Also in the scene above are the supply vessel MARIDIVE 603 and the harbour tug PINOTAGE. Pictures: Glen Käsner

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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