Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 5, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Beira’s new dredger arrives

  • NSRI turns 40

  • NYK opens express North Africa – Levant service

  • Industry stalwart Chris Allers dies

  • Africa remains divided but firm over unity

  • Pic of the day – USNS YANO

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    Beira’s new dredger arrives

    Beira port authorities and stakeholders welcomed a new arrival in port this week, the dredger ALCANTRA SANTOS.

    The dredger which arrived from Japan will be officially inaugurated by Emodraga, Mozambique’s state-owned dredging company and Beira port officials at a ceremony in the port tomorrow (Friday, 6 July) and will begin a 30 day period of testing on Monday.

    According to Emodraga’s chairman, Tay Abdul Adamo, a tender for deepening the port’s entrance channel was issued last May and he said recently that in terms of the contract Emodraga would enter into a partnership with an international dredging specialist.

    In April this year another dredger owned by Emodraga, the ROVUMA struck a submerged wreck in the approaches to Beira and sank. There were no injuries or loss of life but the accident left Emodraga with only a single dredger, the ARUANGUA to cope with a heavy demand on its services.

    At last year’s annual general meeting of CFM (Mozambique’s port authority), the chairman Rui Fonseca announced a US $ 53 million programme to re-equip Beira with new marine infrastructure including new tugs, pilot boats and various navigational aids in addition to a new dredger.

    In a separate project Beira’s fishing port is to undergo reconstruction at a cost of US $ 21 million, which is being financed partly by the Mozambique government and with loans from the Arab Bank for African Development and the Islamic Development Bank.

    NSRI turns 40

    by Dave Sievwright, Durban, 4 July - This year, the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) celebrates 40 years of service to seafarers and the communities of South Africa.

    From humble beginnings, the Sea Rescue story is one of success. Through the dedication of 800 volunteer crew and the generosity of commerce, industry and the community, NSRI continues to grow from strength to strength. Today the Institute operates a fleet of 60 rescue craft from 32 coastal and three inland stations providing a 24/7 rapid response rescue and humanitarian service to all at sea and some inland waters.

    Late in 1966, a fishing vessel sank off the Cape coast with the loss of all 17 crew. An outraged Miss Patti Price of Simon’s Town wrote a letter to the Cape Argus calling for the formation of a sea rescue service. The Society of Master Mariners spearheaded the formation of an in-shore sea rescue service and called for a public meeting. A steering committee was elected at the meeting and two members of the public volunteered to join as crew. The Master Mariners had meanwhile purchased a small inflatable vessel which was handed over and launched at Three Anchor Bay in January 1967.

    It took several months for the Memorandum of Association to be drawn up and signed by the elected Executive Committee. This document was then submitted to the Registrar of Companies in Pretoria and the NSRI was formally registered as a Section 21 Company (not for Gain) on 20 June 1967.

    The NSRI has grown over the years and today operates a fleet of 60 rescue craft with a replacement value of about R 63.5 million. Larger capital items such as vessels and 4x4 vehicles have mainly been sponsored by companies, legacies or service organisations.

    As a non-profit community support service, the Institute may not charge for its services and therefore relies almost solely on donations, grants, sponsorships and its own fund-raising efforts.

    The volunteer crew members are without doubt the backbone of the organisation and since inception over 13,300 rescue missions have resulted in the saving and assisting of 24,000 people. NSRI has been involved in or responsible for nearly 97 percent of all the sea rescue missions on the coast line for the last 40 years.

    Besides the saving of life at sea and on inland waters, there is now a focus on the promotion of both water and boating safety through NSRI’s Water Wise programme.

    Two NSRI craft at sea off the South African coast

    NYK opens express North Africa – Levant service

    Japanese carrier NYK Line will launch an express service connecting Egypt with Lebanon, Syria and Turkey on 20 July.

    According to a company spokesman the intention is to widen NYK’s dedicated network of services in Mediterranean markets, where he said trade was strengthening.

    The new Levant Express as the service will be known (ELX) has a weekly rotation of Damietta, Beirut, Lattakia, Mersin and Damietta and connects with the expanded Asia-Mediterranean Grand Alliance service (EUM) introduced a month ago.

    The EUM loop is used also to transship cargo to Tunisia and Morocco via Barcelona.

    Industry stalwart Chris Allers dies

    Ports & Ships has learned with regret of the death of Chris Allers in Ireland this past week.

    Christian Johan Allers, who was born in 1924, spent his entire working career in the shipping industry. After completing his education in Somerset West he started work in 1942 as a junior office clerk with Miller Weedon and Carruthers in Port Elizabeth. Six years later he moved to East London to open a branch of the company.

    Mr Allers later worked for the firm of AJ Keeler & Company and subsequently became managing director of Grindrod Forwarding, from where he retired in 1989. This wasn’t the end of his ties with shipping however and he formed his own company, Chris Allers Freighting Consultants.

    In this regard he was closely involved with the relocation of factories from the Far East into the then Ciskei and Bophuthatswana and into Northern Natal and the Free State which was done in close liaison with the Industrial Development Corporation.

    His son Kevin joined the company in the early 1990s to assist mainly with transport logistics involving the movement of heavy machinery and equipment. In 1998 the Danish trading and procurement company CICCI took over Chris Allers Freighting Consultants and renamed it Cross Globe Freight, which opened new avenues of activity including aid cargo into West and Central Africa and in particular Angola.

    Although he had remained with the company, in 2000 Mr Allers decided to ease up and retire once more, this time to Ireland where he had family. Although very happy in his new country he suffered a broken shoulder following a nasty fall last November and his health deteriorated steadily thereafter.

    He is survived by his wife Gloria and children Jessedith, Beryl and Kevin.

    Africa remains divided but firm over unity

    African leaders attending the three-day African Union Summit in Ghana struggled to reach a compromise late on Tuesday night over the thorny issue of a united continent, although AU chairman and President of Ghana John Kuofor put a brave face on things.

    “We emerged from the Grand Debate with a common vision. We all have a shared vision for a united, vibrant continental union,” he said.

    Whether that vision is achievable remains dependent on the will of member nations, along with their widely differing viewpoints on the matter of unity.

    Were the main topics under discussion at the summit not of great seriousness for the continent it could have been dismissed as just another meaningless talk-shop. But the economic implications of a united Africa hold enormous promise and ought not to be treated so flippantly.

    Perhaps the more realistic approach came from those who in their speeches cautioned against moving too fast, although some of the West African leaders threatened to break away and form their own mini union of West Africa if the AU cannot come to any conclusion by itself. Jean Ping, vice president of Gabon summarised things by saying that the difference remained over the pace of integration. “That’s the problem and we have to find a compromise,” he said.

    In the compromise statements issued late Tuesday Patrick Mazimaka, Vice President of the AU Commission read out the Accra Declaration which states the ultimate objective of the African Union is to create a United States of Africa, based on a Union Government as originally envisaged by Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah.

    Mazimaka said there was agreement to accelerate the economic and political integration of the continent and a need for common responses to the major challenges of globalisation facing Africa.

    Pic of the day – USNS YANO

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The US pre-positioning ship USNS YANO makes an interesting study while at Durban’s Island View berth 9, when the ship called for bunkers in April 2005. Picture Terry Hutson

    NB Shipping pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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