Ports & Ships Headline News
Oct 4, 2005
Pirated Somali ships arrive in El Ma’an
Two ships which had been held captive along with their crew off Somalia arrived safely in the harbour at El Ma’an last night (Monday), after having finally been released at the weekend.
One of the ships, the Sri Lankan vessel Semlow which was carrying 950 tons of rice for the United Nations World Food Programme and which has been held by the pirates since June, ran out of fuel on the way to El Ma’an and had to be towed to safety by the other ship, the Ibn Batouta. The latter vessel was carrying a cargo of cement when it too was captured by the same pirates two weeks ago.
According to reports all crew are safe and most of the cargo is intact, although the ships were badly vandalized with on board equipment and other goods wrecked or stolen.
Court of enquiry into loss of Lindsay
The Port Elizabeth newspaper EP Herald reports today that a court of marine enquiry into the sinking of the fishing vessel Lindsay on 8 May will convene on 31 October.
The chokka boat (squid trawler) Lindsay had gone to anchor for the night about ten miles off Sardinia Bay, which lies a similar distance from Cape Recife when she was rammed by the Brazilian fruit juice tanker Ouro do Brasil (18 600 dwt). The tanker was returning to Brazil in ballast from Singapore at the time.
There were only two survivors from the Lindsay – the skipper who had retired to his cabin and was sucked out by incoming sea, sustaining injuries as it happened, and another sailor who was on deck at the time. Fourteen other fishermen and crew who were below decks perished with their boat which sank almost instantly.
According to the report the enquiry has been approved by the minister of transport following preliminary findings that indicate the conduct of both vessels ‘were apparently not consistent with international regulations for the prevention of collision at sea.”
(See our News reports dated 8 May and 16 May).
Durban salvage company wins contract to recover lake ship
The Durban salvage firm Subtech Diving has been invited to negotiate a salvage contract to recover the ferry mv Kabalega, which lies in about 45m of water 50 miles off Port Bell in Lake Victoria. The ferry sank after colliding with another vessel, the mv Kaawa in May this year.
The Kabalega, which was commissioned in the 1980s, was apparently uninsured at the time due to poor maintenance.
Uganda had five vessels plying a ferry trade across Lake Victoria – mv Pamba, mv Kaawa, mv Uhuru, mv Umojo and the ill-fated mv Kabalega. Later this month a new ship, mv Kalangala is due to enter service and will be operated for at least a year by the Dutch construction company Damen Shipbuilding.
The respective lake ships work between Port Bell in Uganda and Kisumu on the Kenya border and to Mwanza on the southern Tanzania side of Lake Victoria.
Start on much need port road system
Port users and residents of Richards Bay will have been pleased with the news this morning that the redevelopment of the John Ross Highway leading to the port and town has begun. Earlier today the national minister of transport, Jeff Radebe attended a sod-turning function to mark the start of the project, which is costing R350 million.
The road is one of only two linking the port and town with nearby Empangeni and the N-2 highway system and has been long been regarded as inadequate to the task as well as a public danger. Over the next three years during the period of the contract the road will be upgraded to a four-lane highway – it was originally planned as a toll road - a factor that led directly to the project being delayed amidst much controversy.
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