Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 28, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Rescue operation for injured Clipper sailor

  • Transnet reports revenue of R15.7 Billion

  • Japan advances money to build Mombasa’s second container terminal

  • Nigerian Navy sinks militants boats

  • Mauritius: Dangerous paradise – sex, drugs and HIV

  • Pic of the day – UBC SAVANNAH

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    Rescue operation for injured Clipper sailor

    One day into the Durban – Fremantle leg of the Clipper Round the World yacht race (you can follow the race progress here
    http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/), a crewman on board one of the yachts received a serious injury and has had to be returned to Durban for hospitalisation and treatment.

    The ten yachts taking part in the race sailed from Durban on Sunday, heading south--east on a heading that will take them down towards the fringes of the Southern Ocean before swinging north again as they approach West Australia. However it hasn’t all been plain sailing, as Paul Bevis, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Durban Station Commander reports:

    “NSRI Durban were placed on alert by the National Ports Authority this afternoon (Monday, 26 November) following a request to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) for medical assistance. This followed reports from race coordinators of the Clipper Round the World yacht race indicating that a sailor on-board the yacht New York, 46 year old Tony Peters, a paramedic from Hanworth, Berkshire in the United Kingdom, had sustained a head injury. He reportedly struck his head after being washed across the yacht’s cockpit when a large wave washed over the yacht in rough sea conditions approximately 220 nautical miles South East of Durban en-route to Fremantle, Australia, on day 2 of race 4.

    “The SA Navy Strike Craft SAS ISAAC DYOBHA (P1565) was placed on alert by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and NSRI Durban volunteers prepared to launch our deep-sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II.

    “MRCC have diverted a bulk carrier, the closest vessel to the yacht’s position, to rendezvous with the yacht to lend any assistance necessary and the bulk carrier’s estimated time of rendezvous with the yacht is at 05h00 on Tuesday morning.

    “MRCC alerted Dr Cleeve Robertson of the Emergency Medical Services to evaluate the patient via a communication link and the decision was taken to launch an immediate medical rescue evacuation due to the nature of the injury. The patient is reportedly in a stable and comfortable condition after suffering a head injury and has remained conscious throughout.

    “MRCC activated the SA Navy Strike Craft ISAAC DYOBHA to sail immediately after it was determined that our NSRI Durban deep-sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II would only rendezvous with New York by midday Tuesday approximately 100 nautical miles off-shore. The Strike Craft will make better speed in the prevailing sea conditions.

    “The SA Navy strike craft is en-route from Durban to rendezvous with New York and has on board a Netcare 911 Advanced Life Support medical team.

    “Our NSRI crew remain on alert to lend assistance if necessary.”

    Late Update : Tuesday 23h15


    Richard Bellengere, NSRI Durban Duty Coxswain reported tonight: “The Navy Strike Craft SAS ISAAC DYOBHA arrived alongside the clipper New York at 10h30 today.


    “On arrival on-scene the decision was made for the Strike Craft to escort the clipper to Durban without attempting a patient transfer in the rough sea conditions. The presence of the Navy Strike Craft and medical team lent weight to assuring that should the patients condition change for the worse they were at hand to lend further support and if necessary transfer a paramedic on-board and if necessary transfer the patient onto the Strike Craft.


    “The patient’s condition remained stable and satisfactory throughout the voyage back to the Port of Durban and on arrival in the harbour the patient was transferred onto NSRI Durban’s rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II and brought to our NSRI base where a Netcare 911 ambulance transported the patient to hospital.


    “The operation was coordinated and monitored by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).


    “A second male crewman was also taken off the clipper in port reportedly suffering fatigue and has been taken to a local hotel.


    “The clipper New York has returned to sea to continue the race.”

    Transnet reports revenue of R15.7 Billion

    by Michael Appel (BuaNews)

    Pretoria, 27 November 2007 - After undergoing a number of structural reforms following the implementation of its turnaround strategy, Transnet has announced that its revenue is up 10 percent to R15.7 billion.

    Tuesday's release of the state-owned freight transport and logistics company's results for the six months leading up to September 2007 indicated that capital expenditure has surged 59 percent to R6.8 billion and that cash flow activity had raised 11 percent to R4.7 billion.

    Transnet has also announced that it's Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) had grown by 8 percent to R6.4 billion, confirming that the company has largely completed its turnaround and is on a path of growth.

    Commenting on the positive results, Transnet Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maria Ramos said: "The figures provide clear evidence that the turnaround is largely complete and that the new Transnet we've built in the last three-and-half years is positioned for further growth.

    "Continuous re-engineering of the business should place Transnet at the centre of the country's growth drive."

    The company report indicated that four of its five divisions, except for Pipelines, have shown revenue growth in the interim period.

    The CEO said it was pleasing that the strength and resilience of the balance sheet that they had constructed was evident in the numbers.

    "Particularly satisfying is the solid cash generating ability of the business which is vital as we ramp up the rollout of our capital investment programme which will be funded on the strength of our balance sheet."

    She added that the progress Transnet was making in rolling out the Capital Expenditure Programme (Capex) was testimony to the efficacy of the measures Transnet had employed in strategically managing its balance sheet.

    Chairman of the board of directors for Transnet, Fred Phaswana, welcomed the results. "The figures confirm the financial and operational health of the business and the success of the turnaround strategy thus far,” he said.

    "They clearly point us to the areas that we need to focus on in taking the company to the next stage - that is, the position where its growth is inextricably linked to that of its clients and the country's economic growth occurs because, not in spite, of Transnet's performance. These results show that we're there now."

    For the first time in two decades, Freight Rail's general freight business (GFB), through which a range of products including steel, magnetite, agricultural produce and cement are railed, grew the volumes of cargo railed.

    Mr Phaswana said: "Not only is the company's health sound, but significantly, it is achieving the targets it agreed with its shareholder and delivering on its mandate of optimising the freight transport and logistics system in support of growth".

    In the past year, the company has renewed its focus on safety and risk management through a company-wide safety programme. The board appointed a committee of its directors focusing on safety and Ms Ramos created a post of Chief Risk Officer in the Company's Executive Committee.

    Transnet Pipelines' turnover increased by only 1.8 percent to R600 million due to a decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, to grant a zero tariff increase to Pipelines this year as well as limited volume growth.

    On the positive side, commented the report, Pipelines was awarded the license to construct the proposed 24-inch New Multi-Product Pipeline from Durban to Gauteng. The latest cost estimate for this project is R11.2 billion and, if construction starts on time, it is expected to be completed in 2010.

    Japan advances money to build Mombasa’s second container terminal

    A Japanese bank has extended a US$228.5 million loan to the Kenya Ports Authority which will be used to begin construction of a second container terminal at the port of Mombasa.

    The new terminal is to be built in three phases next to the Kipevu oil terminal, approximately one kilometre from the existing container terminal and when complete will have a capacity for 1.2 million TEU.

    In addition to the terminal work will commence on dredging the channel depth and widening the turning basin to facilitate the type of ships expected to make use of the new facility. A new access road 4km long will also have to be built linking the terminal with the main highway into Mombasa.

    Kenya Port Authority (KPA) managing director Abdalla Mwaruwa said that a second container terminal had become essential in order to cater for increasing numbers of containers not only for Kenya but also for neighbouring countries. He pointed out that the existing facilities were overstretched and that the KPA had been forced to issue a one-month deadline to importers, agents and forwarders to clear their overstayed boxes from the port.

    KPA Harbour Master Captain Hamisi Twalib warned that the KPA would begin disposing of containers that remained uncleared because these were causing congestion that had brought about the threat of surcharges from the shipping lines. He said the port authority was prepared to consider waivers on a portion of storage charges that have accrued, which however would be considered on a case by case basis. The KPA says it wants to raise the terminal’s capacity by reducing the average dwell time at Mombasa to five days.

    Containers now constitute about 70 percent of all cargo handled at the port of Mombasa and is growing at a rate of around 12 percent each year. The current terminal has three berths equipped with four ship-to-shore gantry cranes and had a throughput of 436,000 TEU in 2005.

    The KPA expects to top the one million TEU mark by the year 2015.

    The Japanese loan is the largest provided by the Japan Bank International Corporation (JBIC) since 1973 and has increased the amount of Japanese official Development Agency loans to Kenya to $ 1.8 Billion. In terms of the latest loan Japanese companies and technology are to be involved in the construction of the new terminal.

    "The loan for the project is a soft and very special facility to KPA because it carries an incredibly low interest rate of 0.2% per annum with a grace period of 10 years and 40 years within which to repay," said Susumu Iwamoto, Chief Representative JBIC.

    source – East African Business Week

    Nigerian Navy sinks militant boats

    Nigeria’s Navy is been reported as having been involved in clashes with militants in Soku in Rivers State during which it sank a number of boats used by the militants operating in the area.

    The clashes followed a night patrol in the Soku area which came under attack from the armed gangs. The navy patrol return fire and set at least one of the militants boats on fire and others were damaged.

    According to an unofficial Navy source at least 30 boats fitted with machine guns were pitted against the navy vessels, which were however better equipped and were able to fight off the attack. The navy itself has declined to comment on the report but admits that four militants’ boats and several barges used to siphon off crude oil had been sunk.

    The navy is believed to have gone on full alert following the battle in anticipation of reprisal action.

    Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye said this week that the navy intends going on the offensive to secure the waterways around Bonny and rid it of militancy and other lawless activity.

    source – This Day

    Mauritius: Dangerous paradise – sex, drugs and HIV

    PORT LOUIS, 26 November 2007 (IRIN/PlusNews) - It is hard not to resort to clichés when writing about Mauritius: the white, sandy beaches, sunny blue skies and swaying palm trees. This Indian Ocean island paradise is the stuff travel brochures are made of. Stepping off a plane filled with eager tourists and a group of honeymooners proudly flashing ‘just married’ t-shirts, it is easy to see how tourism has become the main source of income.

    Tourists are not the only ones pouring into the country: extensive air and sea connections to south and southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe, combined with free ports and an offshore banking industry, have made Mauritius a drug trafficker's paradise.

    "There are families who've been in drug trafficking for four generations ... it's a big business in Mauritius. This is one way of making money - a lot of money," commented Imran Dhannoo, director of the Dr Idrice Goomany Centre, an addiction treatment facility.

    The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said syndicates have been expanding their network of transit areas through Ethiopia, Mauritius and Tanzania and Uganda in an ongoing attempt to disguise trafficking routes. These countries are used as arrival points for illicit drugs from Asia, which is then taken to Kenya, South and West Africa, the main regions for onward drug distribution to Europe and North America.

    Some of the narcotics also end up on the busy streets of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, to satisfy growing domestic demand. Heroin is by far the drug of choice, with half the local drug users preferring to inject.

    Dr Fayzal Sulliman, head of the only centre offering methadone treatment, a substitute substance used to wean heroin users from their addiction, conducted a rapid assessment three years ago, and now estimates that 20,000 Mauritians are injecting drug users (IDUs) - the highest prevalence of this type of abuse in Africa.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    You can read the remainder of this article here…

    Pic of the day – UBC SAVANNAH

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Cypriot-owned and registered bulk carrier UBC SAVANNAH (19,643-gt) arriving at Durban’s Maydon Wharf during 2006 to load cargo. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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