Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 11, 2007
Author: P&S


Ports & Ships is taking a short break over the Easter long weekend. Our daily News Bulletins will resume on Wednesday 10 April 2007. Any breaking news will however be posted without delay



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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Somalia: UN Agency welcomes release of highjacked ship

  • Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) in generous sponsorship deal with NSRI

  • Container ship raided by thieves off Dar es Salaam

  • AFRICA: Climate change will impede development, warn experts

  • New Cruise News column begins this week

  • Pic of the day – QE 2




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    Somalia: UN Agency welcomes release of highjacked ship

    UN News Service (New York) - Calling on authorities to take action to curb piracy in Somali waters, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) hailed the release of a hijacked ship used for carrying food aid which had been hijacked in February off the coast of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in the northeast of the African country.

    The MV Rozen and its 12-member crew, comprising six Kenyans and six Sri Lankans, had completed its contract with WFP on 22 February when it dropped off 1,800 metric tons of food from Mombasa in Kenya to Bossaso in Somalia when it was hijacked on 25 February.

    "WFP welcomes the release after 40 days of the MV Rozen," said the agency's Somalia Country Director Peter Goossens, thanking elders in Puntland for their mediation efforts in securing the ship's release last week.

    "The treat of piracy however is still very much alive in Somali waters," Mr. Goossens added, and he urged the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and authorities in Puntland to curtail piracy.

    News of the ship's release was delayed due to security concerns.

    This incident has caused reluctance among shippers to carry cargoes to Somalia, creating delays in delivering much-needed food aid to the country.

    In 2005, the MV Semlow, the MV Rozen's sister vessel, was hijacked while carrying WFP food supplies and held for more than 100 days.

    Another ship contracted by WFP, the MV Miltzow, was hijacked as it was unloading food aid at the Somali port of Merca and held for 33 hours.


    Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) in generous sponsorship deal with NSRI

    South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a purely voluntary organisation holding responsibility for sea rescue missions both along the extensive South African coastline as well as on inland waterways, is to benefit from a generous sponsorship deal from the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

    The NSRI will receive R1.8 million worth of sponsorship on behalf of ACSA’s coastal airports of Cape Town, George, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban.

    Deon Cloete, general manager Durban International Airport and GM for the regional airports said that international aviation law recommends that all coastal airports placed within a 10km radius of the sea should have a sea rescue service available to them.

    Cloete said that ACSA has contributed to the NSRI in this regard for many years and intended to continue to work closely with the NSRI in terms of training and the hosting of emergency drills. This would help ensure the NSRI’s readiness to perform should the need ever arise.

    The NSRI maintains a fleet of 57 rescue boats of various sizes and types at 29 coastal stations and three inland stations. These are operated and maintained by a volunteer force of 700 highly trained and skilled crew members.


    Container ship raided by thieves off Dar es Salaam

    According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, an unidentified container ship waiting to enter the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania was raided by thieves this past week who broke into six containers without being detected.

    The ship was drifting off the port about 23 n.miles east of the channel entrance, in position 06.36S, 039.36E. Duty officers and other crew on board noticed nothing untoward as they drifted during the night while waiting for berthing instructions from Dar es Salaam port control. No suspicious boats were noticed in the vicinity and nor were they noticed on radar.

    The next morning however crew found six containers had been broken into and cargo rifled and removed, along with a quantity of ship’s stores. The matter was subsequently reported to both the port control and to the IMB Reporting Centre as is requested by the IMB.


    AFRICA: Climate change will impede development, warn experts


    Among the most compelling evidence of the onset of climate change is the impact on the world's glaciers and ice sheet. Image UNEP


    Nairobi, 10 April 2007 (IRIN) - Africa needs urgent assistance to adapt to climate change if its people are to thrive in the 21st Century, a senior United Nations official said on Tuesday.

    "Response to climate change is interdependent and Africa cannot cope on its own; this makes it the main test of people working together to adapt to the impacts of climate change," said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

    Speaking during the launch of a regional report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) titled: 'Climate Proofing Africa, Key Challenge for the Continent', Steiner said human activities were clearly influencing climate change.

    The report predicts that an increase in greenhouse gas emissions will see up to 1.8 million more people in Africa without sufficient clean water, an increase in arid and semi-arid lands, poverty and an increase in pandemics like malaria, cholera and Rift Valley Fever (RVF).

    "Temperatures are due to increase by up to 5.8 degrees [Celsius] before the end of the century in arid or semi-arid areas that are prevalent in Africa. The implications of such an increase are multiple and include: rise in sea-level, increased droughts or floods, less access to water which will beget health and agricultural problems," said Anthony Nyong, senior programme specialist with Climate Change Adaptation in Africa, during the launch.

    He urged African governments to work together and incorporate climate change issues in their regional policies.

    "Regional policies over shared resources must be evaluated and issues of climate change incorporated," Nyong said. "No single country can address these issues on its own and this is where African governments have failed."

    Climate change has also seen a marked increase in intensity and frequency of diseases like malaria, according to Andrew Githeka of the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

    "Adaptation starts with awareness; like in the Rift Valley Fever example, Kenyan and Tanzanian governments were both aware of the threat but no sufficient risk communication was done. In the end it costs them more," Githeka said.
    Adaptation to and coping with climate change is complex and involves social and economic factors, such as education and literacy, as well as financial and technological solutions, the report said.

    It recommends that African states think of adaptation through technology, and include it in mainstream development policies. "The report clearly shows that climate change will impede the achievement of millennium development goals and so we must act now," said Steiner.

    This is the second report by the IPCC on climate change. The fist one was released in Paris in 2006 and dwelt on the science of climate change.

    The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and UNEP to assess, on a comprehensive and transparent basis, the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation

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


    New Cruise News column begins this week

    We are pleased to announce that commencing later today a new weekly Cruise News column, researched, written and compiled by experienced travel writer Vernon Buxton will appear in our Cruise News section of Ports & Ships.

    Make sure to look out each Wednesday for the latest summary of cruise news from around the globe.


    Pic of the day – QE 2

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    The passenger ship QE2 always makes for a grand sight in any harbour and Durban, Friday 6 April 2007 was no exception. The ship had arrived earlier that morning for a visit and was due to sail for Cape Town later in the evening. Allan Jackson took the picture of QE 2 berthed at the N-Shed Passenger Terminal. Visit Allan’s highly interesting and informative website ‘Facts About Durban’ at http://www.fad.co.za


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

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