Ports & Ships Maritime News
Oct 10, 2005
Dredger arrives in Maputo
The grab dredger Crane, owned and operated by the National Ports Authority (NPA) of South Africa, arrived in Maputo at the weekend to undertake maintenance dredging at the Mozambique port. Crane is normally stationed at Durban where it handles routine dredging tasks in Durban Bay.
In 2003/04 Port Maputo carried out an extensive dredging programme to remove approximately 2 million cubic metres of spoil from the then badly silted harbour channels. The result was to restore the 100m wide port approaches along the Polana and Xefina Channels to the design depth of -9.4m which restored access to bulkers and other vessels either by day or night and during most stages of the tide.
On that occasion a large trailer suction dredger was brought to Maputo by Dredging International Group which carried out the contract on behalf of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC)
Fire on crippled Kiperousa
A fire briefly threatened the stranded logger Kiperousa last week but was quickly brought under control and extinguished. The fire was the result of sparks from an angle grinder, which was being used by salvors to cut away section of the vessel to allow access to salvors. The 14,921-gt bulker now has a large section missing on the port side, which lies open to the sea.
The salvage company SvitzerWijsmuller holds the contract to remove the cargo and transfer it to East London. Fears have been expressed that if logs escape into the sea they could become a dangerous navigational hazard – a number of logs has already washed overboard after a section of the hull broke open due to the action of heavy seas.
Kiperousa went aground on 7 June while sailing towards Durban where the ship was due to load bunkers before continuing to the Far East. After reportedly striking an unidentified object the crew abandoned the vessel which drifted down onto the Bhega reef, about five miles south of the Eastern Cape village of Hamburg. The ship sustained bottom damage leading to the engine room becoming flooded. Subsequent efforts by the salvage tug Nikolay Chiker failed to pull the ship clear. (See our initial News reports dated 8 June, and subsequent updates from 10 June onwards)
Keep clear of Djibouti
The Norwegian Shipowners Association says it has received warnings of possible terrorist threats in and off Djibouti in the Red Sea. The association says that great caution should be exercised in this area.
South Africa and Brazil the worst countries for strikes
The provocatively named Strike Club apparently believes that South Africa and Brazil are the worst offenders when it comes to port-related strikes. It says that several actions in these two Southern Hemisphere countries this year have already cost the industry US$ 1.5 million.
Chief executive of the Strike Club Bill Milligan is reported to have warned that strike actions in the ports in an ever increasing number of countries are increasing the pressure on the earnings and cash flow of ship operators.
He also appears concerned with recent developments in the south of France, where rocket attacks and bomb threats on a ferry brought a swift Gallic reaction in the form of armed paratroopers flown in to sort out the unions.
WE don’t know about the Brazilians, but by comparison with their South of France counterparts South African dock workers seem docile, that’s assuming they’re even interested in taking industrial action just ahead of bonus-time.
Sailor washed off tanker
A seafarer who fell overboard from the chemical tanker Kasco (18,812-gt) off the Eastern Cape coast on Saturday afternoon is presumed to have drowned and the search for his body has been called off.
The vessel, which was en route from South America to India, was about 85 n.miles from the coast and sailing in heavy seas when a large wave apparently swept the man overboard. The National Sea Rescue Institute at East London was alerted a short while later and began a search, but had to abandon this when it became too dark to see.
On Sunday morning the search continued until called off when no trace of the Greek seafarer could be found. Vessels in the area have been alerted to keep a look out.
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