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Ports & Ships Maritime News

30 June 2015
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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AFON CADNANT 15 June 2015 1 480

AFON CADNANT tow 15 June 2015 1 480

Yesterday’s photographs of the tug AFON CADNANT and a jack-up barge under tow raised a question about the barge. We had responses almost as soon as the edition was published – Ron Bevan of Sturrock Grindrod Marine was first off the block followed shortly after by Neil Scott-Williams, director of the Subtech Group.

Both pointed out that the jack-up barge had been engaged with the salvage of the bulker SMART outside the entrance to Richards Bay harbour.

“On completion of the Smart salvage, most of the equipment is coming down to our Durban offices where we will be warehousing it together with the two Jack-ups that will be jacked in the silt canal adjacent to Subtech,” said Mr Scott-Williams. “This is all part of our role as the Regional JV Partner to Ardent, the merger between Svitzer and Titan.

The pictures above of the jack-up barge and the Holyhead Towing tug AFON CADNANT were taken by Trevor Jones

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LADY OF ZANZIBAR 15 June 2015 480
The ferry Lady of Zanzibar, aka Kilimanjaro V arrives in Durban as deck cargo on board the Thorco Clairvaux earlier this month. Picture: Trevor Jones

The ferry LADY OF ZANZIBAR that recently passed through the port of Durban as deck cargo ( CLICK HERE on the Thorco Clairvaux has arrived in Dar es Salaam where she will shortly commence operations between Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.

The ferry is the fifth vessel built since 2009 for Azam Marine-Kilimanjaro Fast Ferries by Australian company Richard Devine Marine (RDM).

Also known as KILIMANJARO V the ferry will be deployed on the Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar run, carrying up to 554 passengers at 28-30 knots.

Costing $8.5 million Kilimanjaro V took 42 weeks to build at their Prince of Wales Bay facility.

Azam Marine operates passenger ferry-boats between the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and mainland Tanzania.

The fleet of air-conditioned ferries were built in Australia and Europe. All have sitting arrangements and are equipped with latest communication and navigation systems along with safety equipment on board.

According to RDM, passenger comfort and safety is a priority with all passengers seated in seats arranged in various classes from the new 'Royal Class' area through to economy.

Kilimanjaro V will join Kilimanjaro III (KIII) and Kilimanjaro IV (KIV) servicing the route from Dar es Salaam-Zanzibar-Pemba.

Tasmanian Richardson Devine Marine was formed in 1989 and has since been continually operating from the Hobart waterfront building aluminium passenger and cruise/charter vessels. – source: East African Business Week (Kampala)

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Viking Sea ahead of launching

The second of three new cruise ships for Viking Ocean Cruises has been launched at the Ancona shipyards of Italian builder Fincantieri.

VIKING SEA will now undergo fitting out before her scheduled delivery in the second quarter of 2016. She follows VIKING STAR which was delivered in March this year. A third ship, VIKING SKY is already under construction and will be delivered in early 2017.

Each ship has a gross tonnage of around 47,800-gross tons with 465 cabins for 960 passengers. They are being referred to as being placed in the small cruise ship segment – whereas not that long ago a cruise ship of 48,000 tons would have been referred to as a large ship, but such is the leap in size and capacity as cruise operators chase the number of passengers each can carry, that Viking Ocean Cruises will be regarded simply as a ‘small ship operator’.

The naming of the ship was performed by Ms Karine Hagen, daughter of founder and CEO of Viking Ocean Cruises.

The line will specialise in cruises in Scandinavia and the Baltic as well as the Western and eastern Mediterranean during the European winter.

Despite its name and origins, Viking Ocean Cruises is headquartered in Los Angeles, USA. It’s origins in cruising go back to river cruising, with that division of the company operating luxury standard river cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. Viking Ocean Cruises is its first venture into blue ocean cruising.

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new canal en L 480
diagram of new Suez Canal – courtesy Suez Canal Authority

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) reported on 24 June from the UK that it is advising on current Suez convoy information ahead of the new Suez Canal’s inauguration on 6 August 2015.

While the construction of the new Suez Canal approaches its final phase, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), is operating the following programme due to current dredging operations, with digging and dredging expected to be concluded by 15 July:

  • During the dredging period, only one convoy is allowed inside the Suez Canal – a convoy will not enter the canal until another convoy exits from Port Said or Suez
  • Convoy timings are being decided by the SCA on a daily basis
  • The SCA is currently operating only one convoy from the north and one per south daily
  • Time of entering the canal is changeable as per the SCA daily decision
  • To minimise disruption during this final dredging period the Suez Canal is not stopping or closing, but reorganising convoy timings as above, it is understood.

    The new Suez Canal measures from 60 kilometres in length to 95 kilometres in length, while the current project also involves deepening and widening the Great Bitter Lakes and Ballah bypass to a total length of 37 kilometres.

    On completion, the new Suez Canal will create a new parallel waterway to the existing one, increasing the doubled parts of the Suez Canal by 50 percent. The SCA has also advised that the new channel will accommodate vessels of up to 24 metres draught and is widening the existing western bypasses to 317 metres.

    Other project objectives detailed by the SCA for the new Suez Canal include:

  • Shortening the transit time from 18 hours to 11 hours for the southbound convoy
  • Minimising waiting time for vessels to three hours instead of eight to eleven hours
  • Increasing the daily average of transiting vessels to 97 ships from 49 by 2023
  • Achieving direct unstopped transmit for 45 ships in both directions
  • According to ISS in the UK ISS Egypt can advise customers on the latest vessel transit schedule by contacting email: iss.egypt@iss-shipping.com

    Paul Ridgway

    Suez Canal 1 480

    SUEZ CANAL 2 480

    SUEZ CANAL 3 480

    SUEZ CANAL 4 480

    Suez canal HQ 2 480
    All postcard images courtesy Paul Ridgway Collection

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    Veecraft wave piercing crew boat

    Cape Town’s Veecraft Marine shipyard has delivered BENREOCH, a 30m Incat Crowther wave piercing catamaran utility craft developed specifically for crew transfer to offshore platforms in Nigeria.

    At 30.3m in length and 8.5m in beam, Benreoch is 2.7 m longer and 1m wider than predecessor vessels, TOPAZ ZENITH and TOPAZ ZEPHYR.

    The larger platform has been used to increase the aft working deck capacity, which has a 53 sq.m cargo area and carries a rescue boat and crane. The aft deck is large enough to carry 10-ft and 20-ft containers in various configurations and is fitted with a 20-ft self-contained accommodations module that houses eight ‘special personnel.’ This probably means a security detail. A reminder of the realities of operations offshore Nigeria is that the wheelhouse has ballistic protection.

    Inside the main deck cabin is seating for 22 passengers in large, comfortable forward-facing seats. Also on the main deck are a captain's cabin, a 4 person cabin and a 6 person cabin, each with its own bathroom.

    A galley and mess are fitted to starboard along with a small laundry. Adjacent stairs lead to the upper deck wheelhouse and to the hulls, each housing a twin cabin. The wheelhouse has forward and aft-facing control stations and good visibility over the cargo deck and foredeck, enhanced by high windows and blinds forward and aft, offering clear visibility for personnel and cargo transfer or firefighting duties.

    A benefit of the wave piercer hull is that it allows Benreoch's bow to interface cleanly with the offshore platform, whilst being well clear in all other areas to avoid risk of hull damage and crush injuries. To eliminate the risk of damage to the forepeaks or having the hull hang up on structures, the vessel's bows are well back from the outline of the foredeck.

    Fitted with a pair of Caterpillar C32 Acert main engines, each producing 1,081 kW, Benreoch has a cruising speed of 26 knots and a maximum speed of 30 knot – source: marine log

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    MV Victoria 480
    MV Victoria

    Our article on the lake ships Tanzania conducts marine survey on nine lake ships brought back memories for reader Doug Young.

    Mr Young writes:

    Your article of today’s date (23 June) concerning Lake ships brought back memories. I am pretty sure that MV Victoria was built on the Clyde by Yarrow and Co, where my father was Shipyard Manager.

    Good to see the old girl still afloat but sad to see that she may be at the end of her useful life.

    She was built on the weighs at the Scotstoun yard and bolted together, painted green on the starboard side and red on the port side. She was then dismantled and boxed and shipped to Mombasa on the SS Clan Campbell in June 1959.

    One of Yarrow’s assistant managers was flown out to Lake Victoria to supervise the re-assembly and launching of the vessel.

    I did my first trip on this ship at this time as a deck cadet, Captain K C Simpson as Master, and my father and I always joked that “he built them, I sailed them”, though generally Yarrows were better known as naval vessel builders.

    Clan Campbell sailed early July 1959, via the Suez Canal to Port Sudan, Mombasa, Tanga, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam before going light ship to Calcutta and many Indian ports to load for the UK again.

    Hopefully my facts are correct.

    An even earlier remembrance was of a river steamer for Nigeria which was built at Yarrows in the early fifties (I would have been about ten at the time, so around 1951) and actually launched.

    She was then towed upriver to the Govan drydock, where she was split in half, pulled apart and the open ends closed up. She was then floated out of the drydock as two separate parts, towed upriver to the heavy lift crane where the halves (109 and 112 tons) were lifted on board the Onitsha, of Elder Dempster Lines, for shipment to Calabar.

    My father (at that time Assistant Manager to Mr Calver, whose son was then under my father as an assistant manager, and who later became shipyard Manager at James Brown & Hamer in Durban and later Unicorn’s naval architect), flew out to supervise the re-joining of the halves.

    I was allowed to be on board the one half during the tow upriver, a very exciting day for me. I cannot remember the name of this vessel.

    Doug Young
    Clan Line Steamers as Cadet, 3rd Mate (1959-1962): Ellerman’s 3rd Mate to Senior 2nd Mate (1962-1968): CSIR’s Meiring Naude as Mate and relief Master (1968-1977): Unicorn Lines as Mate (1977), Master (1977-1996) and Operations Manager, Personnel Department 1996-1999): Safbulk and Restis, Master (1999-2002) from which I retired after spending eight months on my one and only brand new ship, SA Fortius, Capesize bulker of 162,000 tonnes, taken from the shipyard in Ulsan, S.Korea.

    News continues below…

    News continues below…


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    PECT aerial 470
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    DR ACE 13 June 2015 2 480

    The Panamanian-registered car carrier DR ACE (former Wallenius Wilhelmsen Line TAKARA) (48,547-gt, built 1986) seen in Durban earlier this month. The ship is also reported elsewhere under the name DRACE but we’ll settle for the DR ACE as it appears on the ship. Picture: Trevor Jones


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