Ports & Ships Maritime News

Feb 14, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Nigerian militants release Filipino hostages

  • Injured seaman lifted from Wappen tanker off Wild Coast

  • Erwin says no decision yet on port concessioning

  • SAS SPIOENKOP to be handed over in Simon’s Town

  • Pic of the day – AVALON and RBCT

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    Nigerian militants release Filipino hostages

    Port Harcourt, 13 February - The 24 Filipino seafarers taken hostage by Nigerian militants operating in the Niger Delta region have been released unharmed, according to the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.

    The 24 seafarers were seized on 20 January when armed men boarded the German ship Baco Liner 2. It was one of the more audacious hostage takings in recent months and it was assumed the men would be held for ransom, although the Philippine authorities would not confirm or deny that a ransom was negotiated.

    The raid resulted in the Philippine government issuing a ban on all Pilipino personnel from seeking work in the oil industry in Nigeria.

    Several other expatriate oil workers in the employ of Italian oil company Agip who were seized during December remain in custody although one of the group, an Italian, was released in January.

    Nigeria reacted to these and other attacks by announcing that it intended beefing up its naval and military presence in the Delta and was sending 13 naval vessels to patrol the waters off the coast and the river delta itself.

    Injured seaman lifted from Wappen tanker off Wild Coast

    A Polish seafarer who was injured when heavy seas swept him off his feet on board the German products tanker WAPPEN VON FRANKFURT on Sunday night, was taken off the vessel in dangerous conditions by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Monday.

    The ship, which is currently on charter to carry oil and products along the Southern African coast, had sailed earlier from Maputo bound for Cape Town. While the ship was off the Wild Coast near Port St Johns, during which six metre waves and gale force winds were being experienced, an engineer named Jurkiewicz Grzegorz was swept off his feet by a strong wave that came on board, throwing him against the ship’s stairs and fracturing his ribs.

    Arrangements were made to have the NSRI meet the WAPPEN VON FRANKFURT as the ship approached East London later on Monday. Shortly before noon on that day the East London-based rescue boat ACSA RESCUER 7 successfully carried out a rendezvous with the tanker about five miles off East London and after some delicate manoeuvering alongside the injured seafarer was safely transferred to the rescue boat and taken to East London for treatment.

    The NSRI described the journey back to the port as difficult due to the heavy seas and strong currents.

    Grzegorz was subsequently taken to an East London hospital where his condition has been described as satisfactory.

    source – Daily Dispatch

    Erwin says no decision yet on port concessioning

    Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin says a decision on whether South Africa’s ports would be concessioned or administered through some other form of partnership would be announced in mid 2007.

    The minister was addressing a media briefing during which he confirmed that government was nearing finality on a long range building plan for the ports. Among the decisions to be made, he said was that of deciding how to improve operational efficiency.

    Erwin pointed out that large sums had already been spent on improving the port and other transport infrastructure – by the end of September 2006 R4.3 Billion had been spent on capital projects in this regard, of which over R1 Billion went on the ports.

    Erwin also said that the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) had embarked on a five year investment programme at all the major airports which would involve the expenditure of R5.2 Billion by the time the 2010 Soccer World Cup comes round.

    Whether or not government will make the announcement by mid-year regarding a partnership arrangement at the ports will be greatly anticipated – observers will have noted that government has been saying this for a number of years but so far nothing has been disclosed one way or the other. Even the much publicised Port Master Plan, completed more than a year ago, has not been revealed publicly despite assurances that this would have been made available.


    Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota is to officially receive the third Meko class frigate SAS SPIOENKOP at a ceremony in Simon's Town on Friday.

    SAS Spioenkop is the third of four warships acquired by the navy as part of the Strategic Defence Package. The four frigates have already been delivered to South Africa were they have and are undergoing final fitting out.

    The other three warships are SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana and SAS Mendi – the latter ship will be the last to be completed and handed over.

    The official handing over of SAS Spioenkop to the South African Navy takes place at a commissioning ceremony at the naval base. The ship arrived from Germany in 2004 and has since remained under the supervision of the contractors.

    She will be under the command of Cmdr Douglas Roy Fourie, who said 125 members of his unit were ready to patrol and protect South Africa's waters.

    "The frigate will be used for training operations, peace support operations, escorts, diplomatic missions, operational exercises with African and navies from other countries," he said.

    Of the 125 crew members, 16 are women.

    Last year South Africa took delivery at Simon’s Town of the first of South Africa's three submarines from the German consortium. It has also been announced that the South African Air Force has taken delivery of seven of the 30 Agusta A109 Light Utility helicopters which form part of the Defence Strategic Package.

    source - BuaNews

    Pic of the day – AVALON and RBCT

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Coal ship AVALON and two other bulkers loading coal at Richards Bay Coal Terminal. Picture NPA Richards Bay

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