Ports & Ships Maritime News

Sep 17, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • US Arleigh Burke class destroyer arrives in Maputo today

  • Safmarine Memling goes off charter

  • Rwanda says no to SADC block

  • Clipper 07-08 yacht race begins

  • Zambian rail strike halts export traffic

  • Pic of the day – PELAGUS

    US Arleigh Burke class destroyer arrives in Maputo today

    The US destroyer USS FORREST SHERMAN (DDG98) is due to arrive in the port of Maputo this morning (Monday), the first American warship in more than 30 years to visit the Mozambique capital. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will remain in Maputo until 21 September after which, according to unconfirmed reports, she will sail for South Africa.

    The destroyer has already visited Dar es Salaam and Moroni (Comoros), becoming in the process the first USN ship to visit Tanzania and the Comoros islands in decades.

    According to the US Navy, USS Forrest Sherman is part of the newly established US Southeast Africa Task Group 60.5 (CTG 60.5) and is on a ‘show the flag’ cruise with the purpose of building partnerships and promoting maritime safety and security initiatives among the respective African countries visited.

    The ship has also visited Djibouti en route to East Africa.

    According to one source the ship will also visit South African ports although this has not been confirmed and there has so far been no communication from the South African Navy.

    During USS Forrest Sherman’s visit to Dar es Salaam which commenced on 5 September, the ship’s complement interacted with the local community as well as the Tanzanian Defence Force. Training exercises were held with Tanzanian military personnel aboard the ship and at Tanzania’s Maritime Institute.

    “Strong maritime partnerships are vital to the security of a region and, ultimately, to its stability and economic development,” said CTG 60.5 Commander, Capt Nicholas H Holman, when he addressed a group of diplomats and Tanzanian government and military officials, including the Tanzanian chief of naval operations Brig Gen Said Omar, at a reception on the ship’s flight deck. “Peaceful, secure and prosperous seas are in everyone’s best interest. We look forward to building a strong partnership with Tanzania and working together to achieve this very important goal.”

    USS Forrest Sherman sailed from her homeport in Norfolk on 9 July and operated in the Black Sea before heading for Southeast Africa.

    Last week Maputo played host to the Portuguese frigate NRP Alvares Cabral. The ship is part of the six-ship NATO task force currently circumnavigating Africa but has made several diversions for the purpose of making special calls at Luanda and Maputo – both former Portuguese colonial ports.

    Safmarine Memling goes off charter

    SAFMARINE MEMLING, a container ship under charter to Safmarine for service with the South Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS), is to go off charter on arrival in Europe on voyage 705B.

    The final port of call with the SAECS service in Europe will be a discharge call at Bremerhaven with the French port of Le Havre having been omitted. All Le Havre cargo will be discharged in Antwerp and feedered to Le Havre on the vessel Claes Maersk on voyage 0715.

    The updated schedule is as follows:

    Claes Maersk 0715:

    BEANR ETD: 25/09/2007
    FRLEH ETA: 27/09/2007

    Rwanda says no to SADC block

    Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame says that his central African country is ‘no long interested’ in joining the Southern African Development Community (SADC), because it did not wanting to overlap with other economic blocks.

    He said Rwanda needed to rationalise on which organisations to join in order to prevent overlaps. “Of course we realised that there were duplications in the roles of most of these regional groupings,” he said last week, adding that although Rwanda had applied to join SADC two years ago, the country had later changed its mind and decided not to join too many organisations which might not be of economic benefit to the country.

    He said that having reconsidered its position, Rwanda would remain in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

    Clipper 07-08 yacht race begins

    The Clipper 07-08 Race (35,000 miles around the world) began officially yesterday (Sunday) when ten yachts sailed from Liverpool in the UK, with a first stop at La Rochelle in France.

    The full route is: Liverpool (UK); La Rochelle (France); Salvador (Brazil); Durban (South Africa); Fremantle (Australia); Singapore; Qingdao (China); Hawaii (US); Santa Cruz (US); Panama; Jamaica; New York (US); Nova Scotia (Canada); Cork (Ireland); Liverpool.

    The race has several unique features, including having amateur sailors take part (apart from the professional skippers of each boat) and that each vessel is identical, a 68-foot Dubois design sailboat. The South African entry in the race is named Clipper Durban 2010.

    Details of the race including daily race positions will be available on the official race website at http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/ - however as of last night the website did not appear to be functioning.

    Zambian rail strike halts export traffic

    A strike by union workers on the Tazara Railway (Tanzania-Zambia Railways) has resulted in a large consignment of copper being stranded at Kapiri Mposhi, according to news reports.

    Members of the Workers Union of Tazara-Zambia (WUTAZ) downed tools three weeks ago demanding an increase in wages to $ 208 per month, which management has refused. According to WUTAZ the lowest paid workers in the labourer category currently receive $ 100 per month. Some 1,400 workers have gone out which includes train drivers and other skilled employees, forcing management to drive some of the trains in an effort to move at least some of the accumulated traffic.

    The copper is transshipped from road vehicles onto rail wagons at Kapiri Mposhi, with office staff and management having to learn how to go about loading wagons.

    The Zambian government is attempting to intervene in an effort of reaching a settlement as it is concerned about the stoppage of exports. Other copper exports are continuing to be road hauled from the Zambian copperbelt to Durban.

    Pic of the day – PELAGUS

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    the ‘former’ Marine and Coastal Management patrol vessel PELAGUS pictured after a refit in August 2007. It was thought that this vessel had been disposed of by Marine & Coastal Management (MCM ) after they acquired new patrol vessels. However she has spent sometime on the slipway at Hout Bay being refitted and has now returned to MCM colours, although she has not been seen at sea yet. Her sister vessel PATELLA was last seen earlier this year laid up on the Berg River near Velddrift. Picture by Max Ozinsky

    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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