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Ports & Ships Maritime News

7 January 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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News continues below...

WESTERN TRIDENT, bt 1999, survey research ship,

The Western Geco survey and research ship WESTERN TRIDENT enters Cape Town harbour to have various upgrades and paintwork attended to by the firm of DCD-Dorbyl. The little ship will spend about two weeks in the Cape Town dry dock before moving to berth 501 to complete the rest of the work. Picture by Frank Vennard

News continues below…


Rescue 1 A SAS Isandlwana 470
In May 2011 the South African Navy frigate SAS Isandlwana, seen here on her return from the South Atlantic island, was involved in an emergency dash from Simon’s Town to Tristan da Cunha. This followed an explosion on board a Taiwanese fishing vessel which resulted in the deaths of some of the fishing vessel's crew and severe injuries to others who were rescued from the sea. Picture by Bob Johnston

ANY QUESTION of the navy’s ability to respond to emergencies has again been answered in a positive way, as the frigate SAS ISANDLWANA put to sea at short notice on Sunday night to assist Cape to Rio yachts in distress in a stormy South Atlantic.

The NSRI also demonstrated its amazing ability to respond to almost any emergency along the coast, providing assistance for several yachts as the first leg of the Cape to Rio cross Atlantic race got underway.

It took an emergency call to the navy that saw the frigate SAS ISANDLWANA, under the command of Captain Musa Nkomonde, go to sea in record time on Sunday night in answer to a call for help from the yachts BILLE which had been demasted resulting in serious injuries and the death of one sailor, and the yacht AVA, which began transmitting an Emergency Position Indicating Beacon (EPIB) late on Sunday.

According to a navy spokesman, there were at least two yachts in distress and another three experiencing problems, one of them as it turned out, involving a fire on board.

The yachts at this stage were about 120 nautical miles north north-west of Cape Town. Bille reported that it was proceeding back towards Cape Town.

The NSRI meanwhile got into the action on Monday morning when it launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM at around 09h00 to rendezvous with the yacht BLACK CAT some 75 n.miles offshore. The yacht, with four persons on board, was adrift at sea with rudder damage and was unable to sail. The crew was reported to be safe and uninjured and in no immediate danger.

The intention is to render assistance and to tow the yacht back to port in Cape Town.

The respective rescues were coordinated by the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre). The yachts were affected by severe weather during the early stages of the Cape to Rio 2014 yacht race that began from Table Bay on Saturday, 4 January.

Various other units all played a role in the rescue operations, including the South African Air Force which placed maritime patrol aircraft on standby. Ships at sea were also alerted and some diverted to lend assistance as required.

The status from the JOC MRCC on Monday was as follows:

1. Yacht INDABA returning to Cape Town under sail with one crew member having sustained a medical injury aboard and in a stable condition being monitored by the JOC.

2. Yacht AVA has been found, following a search, and her crew are okay. She is sailing back to Cape Town under her own sail.

3. Yacht BILLE has had all crew evacuated to the SA Navy ship SAS Isandlwana and the yacht is adrift at sea waiting a tow by FV Allison, chartered by the owner. The body of the deceased is in the care of SAS ISANDLWANA.

4. Yacht ISLA had a fire aboard on Sunday night and is now under tow by SMIT MADURA, a salvage vessel that was dispatched by the MRCC, and was heading back to Cape Town.

5. Yacht BLACK CAT was under tow by NSRI Table Bay's SPIRIT OF VODACOM and returning to Cape Town.

6. Yacht AVANTI is sailing to Saldana Bay and will probably withdraw from the race.

7. Yacht AVOCET is sailing back to Cape Town and will probably withdraw from the race.

8. Yacht DO DO, just south of AVA at time of writing, was also returning to Cape Town under sail. She had torn sails and experienced steering problems but SAS Isandlwana reports she has confirmed all OK at present. NSRI Hout Bay remained on standby in case she needed assistance. Isandlwana will return to BILLE to await FV Allison subject to any further tasking.

9. A non Cape to Rio participant, the yacht IDEFIX2, with two crew aboard was reported as disabled and adrift 216 nautical miles west of Saldhana Bay and she has declared an emergency. They are unable to sail or motor and was using remaining fuel to keep batteries charged for radio. MRCC has despatched a bulk carrier to investigate and then to report back to MRCC for further action required.

10. A SAAF Dakota, 35 Squadron, at Air Force Base Ysterplaat has been stood down but her crew remain on alert and available if required. NSRI Airborne Sea Rescue Unit remain on alert.

News continues below…


Maersk Nautilus 470
Maersk Nautilus, one of 15 VLCCs sold to Belgian-based Euronav. Picture Maersk Tankers

MAERSK Tankers Singapore has sold its fleet of 15 VLCCs to the Belgian-based Euronav NV, for a reported sum of US$980 million.

According to Maersk Tankers the disposal of its VLCC fleet is aimed at enabling the company to focus on the product tanker market, which it believes will recover far sooner than the crude segment.

According to Euronav, the purchase price is payable as the vessels are delivered. The ships have an average age of four years and will notably expand Euronav’s fleet of larger tankers made up of one ULCC, 11 VLCCs and 23 Suezmaxes. The new deal increases Eurnav’s fleet to over 50 ships.

The vessels will be operated in the Tankers International VLCC Pool of which Euronav is a founding member. Euronav says the outlook for the large crude tanker market has improved significantly over the last months indicating a resurgence of demand and an improved near term outlook.

Each vessel will be sold under the industry standard sale form as a stand-alone asset with deliveries taking place between late January and June with the exception of one vessel currently under charter, which will be delivered towards the end of the year.

Euronav says it considers the acquisition as a first step towards a wider consolidation of the world tanker fleet, with the concurrent benefits of synergy and logistical enhancement to the benefit of all stakeholders.

News continues below...


Quantum of the Seas 470
Quantum of the Seas 470
As Quantum of the Seas is expected to appear in November this year. Picture RCCL

WHEN she is launched later this year Royal Caribbean’s QUANTUM OF THE SEAS, the first of a new generation of 167,800-gt cruise ships being built at the Meyer Werft shipyards in Papenburg, Germany and smaller only to Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships, will be protected along her hull and seawater pipeworks by Cathelco equipment. Cathelco announced yesterday that its anti-fouling systems will be used extensively to protect the ships under construction. The first, QUANTUM OF THE SEAS, will deliver in November this year followed by ANTHEM OF THE SEAS in the second quarter of 2015. A third, as yet unnamed ship of this class has been ordered from Meyer Werft for delivery in mid 2016.

Each ship can accommodate more than 4,000 guests in RCCL’s largest and most advanced staterooms. At 348 metres in length and with 16 passenger decks, the Quantum class will offer the very latest in entertainment and recreational facilities.

Meanwhile, the Cathelco pipework anti-fouling systems will be protecting a total of 20 seachests on each vessel serving extensive shipboard equipment including freshwater evaporators, reverse osmosis systems, air conditioning chillers and sea water cooling pumps. The AF system will also protect a number of fire fighting pumps and their associated pipework.

“The flow rates through the seachests serving the air conditioning system are up to 4,730 cubic metres per hour. For these seachests we are supplying pairs of our largest copper and aluminium anodes measuring 1100mm in length and 140mm in diameter,” said Carlo Soddu who has been closely involved in the project at Cathelco.

The ships are also being supplied with Cathelco impressed current cathodic protection systems (ICCP) which will safeguard the hull surfaces against corrosion.

For our technically minded readers, the 250 amp forward system will have an arrangement of two 125 C-Max disc anodes and reference electrodes wired to a thyristor control panel and mounted port and starboard. The more powerful 350 amp aft system will have two 175 amp C-Max disc anodes and reference electrodes. C-Max anodes are compact, lightweight and have the advantage of being diver changeable for easy replacement without drydocking.

Cathelco are also supplying ICCP systems for two cruise ships for Carnival and Holland America Line which are being constructed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincanteri.

The 99,000-gt Holland America Line vessel will be capable of accommodating 2,660 passengers, while the 135,000-gt Carnival Cruise Lines ship will have a capacity of 4,000 people. Holland America’s ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2015, whilst the new Carnival Cruise ship will enter service in the winter of 2016.

Both ships will have 200amp forward ICCP systems and 400 amp aft systems using arrangements of C-Max diver changeable disc anodes and reference electrodes. It is likely that these vessels will be the first cruise ships to be installed with the latest Cathelco Quantum ICCP control panels which have the advantages of easy control/ monitoring and comprehensive data logging. They also provide greater connectivity enabling data to be displayed remotely or integrated with the ship’s computer systems.

Love them or hate ‘em, these huge cruise ships with their wide ranging lifestyles involving visiting foreign shores while providing non-stop entertainment and good living and fine food, are going to make their owners smile all the way to the bank.

News continues below…


186237626 Greenpeace image 470
Picture by Greenpeace Africa

A RUSSIAN factory trawler, the OLEG NAIDENOV has been detained by a Senegalese naval vessel and taken to the port of Dakar where she is being held under armed guard.

The arrest took place on Saturday (4 January) allegedly in Senegalese waters where the ship was reportedly fishing illegally. A spokesman for the owners, Feniks, said however that the ship was fishing legally at the time.

The vessel has a crew of 62 Russians and 23 Guinea-Bissau nationals on board.

As yet (Monday) there has been no official explanation of the ship’s detention.

French media reports quoted a Senegalese military spokesman as saying the Russian ship was seen fishing illegally in Senegalese waters and was boarded by military from the Senegalese naval ship. Details of the boarding are not clear but the Russian captain and a female galley attendant were injured and required treatment including x-rays and scans at a Dakar hospital. The female has a suspected broken arm.

It would appear that when boarded the ship was in the vicinity of the Senegal border with Guinea Bissau.

Russian’s presidential envoy to Africa, Mikhail Margelov said on Sunday that Russia was seeking an explanation regarding the detention of its ship. He said that representatives of the Federal Fisheries Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs were in contact with the Russian crew members.

Margelov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the incident could be “an attempt to turn our citizens into a bargaining chip in the fiercely competitive battle for bio-resources in this part of the Atlantic.

“Russia has always been interested in gaining access to the rich fish stocks of Africa’s Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Guinea, and is by no means trying to walk away from this competitive but very attractive market,” he said.

He said the humanitarian aspect of the incident is the most important thing right now. “We sincerely hope the Russian nationals will be freed in the very near future,” he said. source RIA Novosti

In 2012 the Russian-flagged OLEG NAYDENOV was placed on the Greenpeace blacklist of vessels that poach in West African waters. This was after it was caught fishing illegally in Senegalese waters in February 2012.


Berth 19 pic by CRIEnglish 470
Berth 19 which was commissioned into service in August 2013. Picture by crienglish.com

It was a congestion-free Christmas for the port of Mombasa, Kenya Port Authority has reported.

Prior to the Christmas and New Year holidays, KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua warned importers not to follow their usual method of abandoning imports at the port until after the New Year.

They were advised to make arrangements for the clearance of container and other imports throughout the period. Having heeded the warnings, the port has experienced one of its most congestion-free Christmases on record.

Some of the credit must also go to having berth 19 in commission, which ensured a smoother flow of cargo. In response to instructions that came from the very top by way of might be called a presidential decree, the port was in full operation even on Christmas Day.

This was in fact the second year running that Mombasa has remained open on 25 December to help make sure there is no cargo build-up and it has paid dividends. Between January and the end of October the port handled 18.639 million tons, an increase of more than half a million tons of cargo, which is again accredited to having berth 19 available. source – The Star (Nairobi)


42212014 moz beira 203x152

THE REHABILITATION of critical stretches of the Sena railway line, linking the Moatize coal basin to the port of Beira, has been concluded, according to a report in Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily Noticias.

The state-owned ports and rail company, CFM, undertook the work to ensure there would be no repetition this rainy season of what happened in February 2013, when the Zambezi River flooded, washed away ballast on part of the Sena line and interrupted rail traffic.

This was a serious blow to the coal mining companies Vale and Rio Tinto, which accounted for most of the cargo on the 12 trains a day that used the line at that time. Coal exports were interrupted for three weeks while repairs were undertaken.

CFM says it is determined that the same thing will not happen this year. At three points along the most vulnerable stretch of the Sena line, new drainage pipes have been installed to ensure that storm waters are channeled away from the tracks. The base on which the rails rest has been strengthened, and all the ditches running alongside the line have been cleaned.

In addition, CFM has placed teams on the ground who permanently monitor the line, particularly the stretch from the Zambezi to Moatize.

Sancho Junior, director of the Sena Line Reconstruction Brigade, told the paper that heavy equipment is available to open more drainage ditches, and will be operating in the critical area until late February.

Meanwhile, work is under way to increase the capacity of the Sena line from the current 6.5 million tonnes a year to 20 million tonnes a year by February 2015. The work is intended to raise the maximum length of goods trains from 42 wagons pulled by two locomotives to 100 wagons pulled by six locomotives.

The contract for these improvements was won by the Portuguese companies Mota Engil and the Visabeira group, which plan to spend €162.7 million (about US$ 223 million) on the improvements.

But plans to raise coal exports to 100 million tonnes a year mean that alternatives to the Sena Line are required. Vale hopes to free itself from dependence on the Sena line by building a new railway across southern Malawi that will connect with Mozambique’s existing northern line, and carry the coal to the port of Nacala.

A second new line is going to be built from Moatize to Macuse on the coast of Zambezi province, where a new mineral port will be installed. Contracts for the railway have already been awarded to a Thai company. source – AIM


photo 5 620x465 Weltrust medvac 5 Jan 2014 470
Sunday night, 5 January 2014 and the rescue team returns to the NSRI Table Bay sea rescue station from where the injured seaman can be taken to hospital. Picture by Robyn Silverstone/NSRI

In another sea rescue operation on Sunday night, an inured seaman was medi-evacuated from a ship at sea and taken to hospital in Cape Town.

The emergency evolved from a report by the 230-metre bulk carrier WELTRUST, which had sailed from Saldanha bound for Australia and was reporting an injured 25-year old Chinese seaman who had fallen on deck, suffering lacerations and bruising to his thigh and leg.

After a telephonic evaluation by a medical doctor, arrangements were made for a 22 Squadron helicopter together with a NSRI Helicopter Rescue Unit to rendezvous with the ship at sea, then 20 n.miles offshore of Cape Point. However, high winds and rough seas ruled out the use of the helicopter unit and the NSRI was instructed to launch a rescue boat and bring the injured seaman ashore.

The ship was meanwhile requested to sail towards Cape Town where a rendezvous with the NSRI craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM was made offshore of Mouille Point. After going on board using a Stokes basket and stabilising the patient, medics and the NSRI team transferred the patient onto the Spirit of Vodacom using the basket and a ship’s crane. The injured sailor was then taken to the NSRI Table Bay sea rescue base where an ambulance was waiting to take him to hospital.


East London 470
East London harbour

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

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NAUTICA 4 January 2014 1 adj 470

The cruise ship NAUTICA was a recent visitor in the port of Durban where the ship over-nighted before heading south for Cape Town. Picture is by Trevor Jones

SANTA BARBARA 4 January 2014 1 470

Hamburg Süd’s 7,850-TEU container ship SANTA BARBARA (85,000-dwt, built 2012) made a bright entry to the new year when she berthed at the Durban Container Terminal. Picture is by Trevor Jones

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