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Ports & Ships Maritime News
1 December 2015
Author: Terry Hutson
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport
related news of interest for Africa since 2002
TODAY'S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS
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FIRST VIEW : OU YA
The 60m long Chinese deepsea pole and line fishing vessel OU YA 27 (1596-gt) makes an attractive sight as she
prepares to enter the Port of Cape Town earlier in November and escorted by the pilot workboat KESTREL. She
was closely followed by another fishing vessel and then a merchant ship, making for a busy moment at the port.
Picture by Aad Noorland
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SOUTH AFRICA ELECTED TO IMO
South Africa says it views its representation on the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a
major step towards the realisation of the country and the African continent's potential in the maritime sector.
South Africa's election to the 20-member 'Category C' Council of the IMO comes as Deputy Minister of Transport
Sindisiwe Chikunga heads a delegation to the 29th session of the IMO Assembly in London, in the United
Chikunga said the voice of African countries on maritime matters would be strengthened by South Africa's
presence in the influential global council of the United Nations multilateral body.
"We stand to benefit immensely as the African continent from South Africa's election to the IMO council. This is
where critical decisions are made with regard to global maritime affairs, ranging from the Oceans Economy,
rescue initiatives and safety and security matters at sea," Deputy Minister Chikunga said.
At least 30,000 vessels pass along the South African coastline annually of which a large number are laden
She said South Africa's election to the council comes at a time when the country is embarking on a new ambitious
chapter of unlocking the country's maritime potential through the Blue Oceans' Economy strategy and Operation
"With a coastline totalling 3,900km, we believe there's plenty of untapped potential at sea. Through Operation
Phakisa we have identified projects that will ensure that the Oceans' Economy is realised," she said.
Through Operation Phakisa, South Africa has the ambitious aim of creating one million jobs. --
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NEWS OF SHIPS AND SHIPPING IN
FROM SEISMIC SURVEY VESSEL TO WIND FARM WORKERS HOTEL
The seismic research ship VIKING II is being converted as a floating hotel for workers employed on a wind farm
Dutch owner C-Bed made the odd decision to meet the urgent demand for accommodation which has coincided
with a dramatic downturn in demand for oil exploration.
Wartsila Ship Design has been contracted to supply the design for the floating hotel and when the convesion is
completed Viking II will not only be able to accommodate service personnel working on offshore wind farms, but
will be able to transfer them as required..
The conversion is being carried out in Denmark at the Fayard AS shipyard and should be completed in the first
quarter of 2016. Once completed Viking II will be renamed WIND INNOVATION and will have accommodation for
125 people and will comply with requirements for Special Purpose Ships.
SAS SPIOENKOP TO REPRESENT SOUTH AFRICA AT INDIAN INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW
Picture by Ian Shiffman
As reported here previously the South African Navy is to be represented at next year's International Fleet Review
in India and the ship that will do the honours is the Valour class frigate, SAS SPIOENKOP (F147).
The frigate will be under the comamnd of Captain Mike Boucher who will also be in charge when Spioenkop takes
part in next year's Exercise Ibsamar which follows the Fleet Review at the Eastern Naval Base of Visakhapatnam.
Ibsamar involves ships from the Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies and usually takes place every two
years off South Africa but as both Brazil and South Africa will be represented at the Fleet Review, it is opportune
to hold the next exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
SAS Spioenkop has previously undertaken a long cruise to the Far East, visiting six countries in 2008 which
included China and Vietnam. She is likely to depart from Simon's Town in mid January, calling at Mauritius on the
way. She will join more than 100 naval ships from 60 countries in what will become the biggest Naval Fleet
Review in the Indian Ocean, certainly in modern times.
DRILLING RIG COMPLETES SURVEY AT NGQURA
The drilling rig MAERSK DELIVERER has completed her survey which was undertaken in the harbour at Ngqura in
the Eastern Cape, and has taken up active duty off the coast of Angola, GAC South Africa reports.
The rig, measuring 117m x 78m x 37m and with accommodation for up to 180 people, needed plenty of room to
manoeuvre which was possible at Ngqura, which has an entrance channel depth of 18 metres, a turning basin of
600m and 18m Port Chart Datum.
Eric Barnard, Managing Director of GAC Shipping, says green credentials were high on the agenda throughout the
works as Ngqura is part of an environmentally protected area. The relatively isolated location of the port, on the
east coast of South Africa 22km north of Port Elizabeth, presented a challenge in terms of procurement and
housing the Maersk project team as well as more than 200 third party contractors for the duration of the
"A core focus of GAC when working projects such as this is to secure as much of the local procurement
requirements of our client, the majority of which was highly technical or specialised nature. That presented its
own issues with Ngqura not being a big industrial city," he said. "Every challenge was met with a successful
outcome and this is largely due to the solid efforts of our staff including the Operations Manager, Rene Kruger and
Marine Representative, Elfranco Arries."
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CRUISE SHIP BOUDICCA IN DRY
DOCK FOR REFURBISHMENT
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' BOUDICCA, which in February will be undertaking a cruise to South Africa and returning
via the Red Sea, has just completed a refurbishment at Bremerhaven's Lloyd Werft shipyard.
The 880-guest Boudicca entered dry dock at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany on 18 November,
in preparation for her forthcoming 2016/17 cruise season. She arrived from the Port of Tyne, Newcastle following
a 15-night 'Mysterious Morocco & Seductive Spain' cruise. In dry dock she underwent various engineering works,
general refurbishment and interior and exterior painting.
During the dry dock, Boudicca saw 28 cabins on Lido Deck 7 fitted with terrace balconies. These new terrace
balcony cabins extend out 1.2 metres from the ship's bulkhead, and will provide guests with an increased choice
of cost-effective balcony cabins, with access to the outside.
"We experience extremely high demand for balcony cabins across our fleet, in particular on a smaller-sized ship
such as Boudicca, and our new terrace balcony cabins are an innovative response to this," said Mike Rodwell,
Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
"We installed the new terrace balcony cabins on sister ship Black Watch during her dry dock last Autumn, and
these have proved very popular with our guests."
Following her dry dock, Boudicca commenced her cruise season yesterday from the South Essex port of Tilbury,
with a 14-night 'Landscapes of Morocco, Madeira & the Canaries' voyage.
During the 2016/17 cruise season, Fred. Olsen's fleet of four ships -- BALMORAL, BRAEMAR, BOUDICCA and
BLACK WATCH -- will be visiting a record 253 destinations in 84 countries around the globe.
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BRITISH FORCES RESCUE SOUTH
ATLANTIC CRUISE PASSENGER
Top left & right: Once the helicopter was in position over the cruise ship, the casualty was winched into
the helicopter, which then returned to Stanley, Falkland Islands.
Lower picture: Due to the long distances involved, the SAR helicopter flew to HMS Clyde and refuelled.
All pictures are courtesy UK Crown Copyright 2015.
Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel based in the Falkland Islands conducted a long-range rescue of a British
man from a Russian cruise ship on 26 November.
MV AKADEMIC SERGEI VAVILOV was visiting South Georgia, 800 nautical miles to the east of the Falklands, when
the man was bitten by what is thought to have been a fur seal at Salisbury Plain Beach. The casualty was in a
serious condition with a major injury to his arm and urgent specialist medical attention was needed.
As the cruise ship headed for Stanley in the Falkland Islands, British Forces launched a rescue mission co-
ordinated from the Joint Headquarters at Mount Pleasant. HMS CLYDE sailed at speed to a position 200 nautical
miles east of Stanley. Subsequently an RAF Hercules took off for the cruise ship's position and an RAF Search and
Rescue helicopter was launched with a British military doctor aboard.
Due to the long distances involved, the helicopter flew to HMS Clyde and refuelled before flying a further 100
nautical miles to Akademic Sergei Vavilov. Once the helicopter was in position over the cruise ship, the casualty
was winched into the helicopter, which then returned to Stanley.
Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, Commodore Darren Bone Royal Navy, said: "This successful
rescue operation, conducted at maximum range from the Falkland Islands, demonstrates very clearly the value
and capability of British naval and air forces working together. It also highlights the professionalism and
dedication of my people, and comes just a week after British Forces worked with the Falkland Islands Government
and others to rescue all 347 passengers and crew from the stricken French cruise ship Le Boreal."
He added: "We all wish the patient well and are delighted that we were able to deliver him to hospital in Stanley
over 24 hours earlier than would have been the case had he remained in the ship."
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POWER SHIP ARRIVES IN GHANA
TO HELP END LOADSHEDDING
The Turkish power ship AYSEGUL SULTAN which is capable of generating 235 megawatts of electricity on a daily
ongoing basis has arrived in Tema, the main port of Ghana.
The ship has arrived rather timeously as power shedding has become a thorny political issue in the West African
country. Power Minister Kwabena Donkor said the contract with Karpowership was a bid to keep the lights on in
the country. At present power cuts have become regular with blackouts lasting for 24 hours at a time.
So serious is this that there are fears that President John Mahama's chances of being re-elected next year are at
Donkor said that the power ship was just one element in the struggle to produce sufficient electricity in the
The vessel will now be plugged into the national grid. Together with a second source of supply due in a month's
time from Dubai-based independent producer Africa and Middle East Resource Investment, they will generate
about 450 megawatts of electricity.
Donkor said that additional sources of supply will also become available next year that will provide a total of 1000
megawatts of electricity, which, he said, should cover Ghana's needs with some to spare.
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CHINA AND NATO JOINT EXERCISES
IN GULF OF ADEN
br>The Chinese Navy frigate ZHOUSHAN which had conducted counter piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia,
on a visit to Durban. Picture by Terry Hutson
Chinese naval forces have conducted first time joint counter piracy exercises with their NATO counterparts in the
Gulf of Aden, the Chinese Defence Ministry announced.
China has deployed naval forces on counter piracy missions to the Horn of Africa region for a number of years but
so far has acted unilaterally although friendly contact with NATO and EUFOR naval forces has taken place.
China is currently being reported as having negotiated a deal in which it will establish a naval base at Djibouti in
the southern mouth of the Red Sea, commanding a strategic position in one of the world's most important choke
points. China insists that this is just a 'facility' for its naval forces engaged in counter piracy operations. The
United States already has a large and substantial military base at Djibouti, although it is reported that the US will
dismantle its drone aircraft operations from that centre.
Djibouti has been a main centre of operations for unmanned aircraft flights over Africa and the Middle East, flying
from the former French military base in the small African country. Djibouti also constitutes the only official US
base on African soil.
The recent joint exercises between Chinese and NATO naval forces will help improve communications between
ships engaged in counter piracy operations, said a Chinese ministry statement. This, it said would help both China
and NATO forces to maintain maritime security in an area of critical importance for all parties. Chinese merchant
ships including oil tankers make use of the seas in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, which for the
past 15 years has been subject to indiscriminate pirate attack.
Only in the past year or so has piracy been brought under control, with naval forces claiming the credit although
the consensus is that armed guards on board merchant ships has played an equal if not greater part in helping
defeat Somali piracy. The establishment of an established government in the southern and the northern regions
of the divided country has also been an influential factor.
The growing influence of Chinese naval forces in the Indian Ocean is causing alarms bells to be rung in Indian
military and political quarters. As a result India is strengthening its navy and military capabilities in the face of
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PICS OF THE DAY :
We make no apology for showing this ship twice in succession. In yesterday's edition we showed Oceania Cruises'
INSIGNIA arriving in Durban accompanied by a big swell outside the port. Today we see the ship arriving a
couple of days later in Cape Town, in rather pleasant conditions according to the evidence before us. Insignia, the
former R-One and Columbus 2, is taking a single cruise along the South African coast, unlike her sister company
ship NAUTICA which has multiple cruises to most ports on the Southern African coast. Insignia does however
return in February. That's why we enjoy the summer! These pictures are by Ian Shiffman
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