Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 6, 2006
Author: P&S


  • Master and 3 crew appear in court over death of stowaways

  • Fears of famine for Horn of Africa

  • Asbestos dust confirmed in Maputo ship

  • Cruise ships visit South Africa

  • Clipper Race Update

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    Master and 3 crew appear in court over death of stowaways

    The Polish master of the bulker African Kalahari and three Ukrainian crew members appeared in a Durban court today facing charges of two murders and five attempted murders.

    The four have been granted bail with a condition that they report daily to the Maydon Wharf police station until the case comes before the court next week. The ship which is under charter to Mettal und Rohstoff has also been detained at a layby berth and prevented from sailing pending further investigations.

    The seven Tanzanian stowaways, who claim to have stowed away on board while the ship was in Mombasa, remained undetected until the ship arrived in Durban this week. After being discovered it is alleged that the three Ukrainian seamen forced the seven overboard into the bay. The ship’s master has been charged on the grounds that he was aware of what was happening and did nothing to prevent it.

    Five of the stowaways managed to swim ashore but two disappeared and are now believed to have drowned. A search for their bodies has so far not been successful.

    Fears of famine for Horn of Africa

    According to the UN Food Agency millions of people in the Horn of Africa face starvation as the drought tightens its grip across the region. The agency says that more than two million people are affected in Somalia, northern Kenya and Djibouti, where there are already large-scale food shortages.

    Long term weather forecasts paint a gloomy picture with predictions of lower than normal rainfalls in the coming months. The Kenyan president has already acknowledged the lack of food in some areas of his country by declaring a large part of Kenya a national disaster area. He said food is a basic right for every Kenyan and promised that his government would spare no effort to ensure that all Kenyans had access to this basic necessity.

    Meanwhile further south large parts of drought-affected Mozambique have been hit by heavy rains and flooding in low-lying areas as rainstorms pass across the country.

    Across the border South Africa has boosted its maize exports by shipping 1.4 million tonnes of maize to a number of Africa countries since the start of the 2005/06 marketing season. About half of this amount has gone to Zimbabwe where there are severe food shortages. Botswana and Lesotho have also received substantial amounts. The majority of the exports are for white maize, which is a stock foodstuff throughout much of Africa. South Africa also exports maize to Indonesia, Iran and Japan.
    - sources Business Day and UN Food Agency

    Asbestos dust confirmed in Maputo ship

    Traces of asbestos dust in the holds of the bulk vessel Orbit in Maputo harbour were confirmed today, according to Maputo reports.

    The vessel was detained earlier this week after arriving with a cargo of 17,500 tonnes of bagged rice, of which 10,000 tonnes was to be discharged in Maputo and the balance in Beira.

    However Mozambique officials swooped on the ship after receiving reports that the same vessel had carried a cargo of Zimbabwean asbestos to Iran in November. The asbestos was also loaded in Mozambique.

    All discharging operations were halted pending an examination of the ship’s holds and to examine whether the cargo of rice had been contaminated.
    - source Mediafax

    Cruise ships visit South Africa

    Earlier today the port of East London had the unusual sight of not one but two cruise ships in harbour, the first time this has occurred in about three years according to a port official.

    The spate of cruise ships now on the South African coast is a welcome fillip to efforts of attracting more of these wandering tourist hotels. We’ve already had Hanseatic visit during December and prior to that Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess set the scene for a bumper summer season of cruises.

    It’s been a while since Southern Africans were so spoilt for choice, for most of the ships offer accommodation while in local waters. During January no less than eight cruise ships are cruising here, with a number of them making multiple cruises up and down the coast with calls at most ports including those in Namibia and Mozambique. One or two are making calls at selected ports but the remainder will visit most centres. The ships here during January are Europa, Silver Wind, Island Sky, Deutschland, Royal Star, Hebridean Spirit, Saga Ruby and of course the ‘resident’ cruise ship MSC Rhapsody.

    Still to come in the next couple of months are Vistamar, Van Gogh, Alexander von Humboldt, Oriana, Saga Rose, Prinsendam and Crystal Serenity. Unfortunately it appears that the scheduled visit to Southern Africa of Mona Lisa has been cancelled.

    In October this year South Africa will play host to a permanent cruise ship in the form of MSC Monterey, which will be based in Durban all year round. She will be joined in late November by the return of MSC Rhapsody, back to operate cruises from Durban to the Indian Ocean islands and the Mozambique coast during the summer months until April.

    Clipper Race Update

    Light winds continued to hamper the yachts today with 12-hour distances dropping to around 50 and 60 miles on average. At the back Glasgow benefited from slightly stronger breezes and chalked up the highest number of miles with 94, followed by Jersey which is also near the back with 76. In the middle of the group are New York (currently joint 5th) which could only manage 48 miles. The two frontrunners, Durban and Westernaustralia.co, achieved 66 and 53 miles respectively.

    Race position at 17.00 today (with distance to Singapore)

    Durban (1315)
    Westernaustralia.com (1328)
    Victoria (1336)
    Singapore (1339)
    Liverpool (1342)
    New York (1342)
    Qingdao (1350)
    Jersey (1369)
    Glasgow (1409)
    Cardiff (1729)
    - source http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk

    Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast.

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