Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 23, 2008
Author: P&S







Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive this News Bulletin in your email each weekday morning

PROVIDING INFORMATION TO THE MARITIME INDUSTRY
Reach out to this dedicated maritime audience by advertising here with your Banner - contact info@ports.co.za

SEND YOUR NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES TO
info@ports.co.za


SHIP MOVEMENTS -- Ports & Ships is looking into a new service in which daily ship movements and ETA’s can be delivered to readers by email. If we go ahead this service will carry a modest fee but first we need to know if there is sufficient interest. If this sounds like a good idea please let us know with an email indicating also which port/ports you would want to receive info@ports.co.za
Note this is for information gathering only at this stage – you are not committing yourself by responding.

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

  • An Yue Jiang may return its cargo to China

  • Sailing barque Europa arrives in Cape Town

  • Former SAR&H tug Alwyn Vintcent sold to Australia

  • SA's economic growth linked to regional economy

  • High food prices a silent global tsunami, says WFP

  • Pic of the day – ALWYN VINCENT




    Looking for help? Try our MARITIME SERVICES DIRECTORY CLICK HERE


    STOWAWAYS
    Watch a short 4.5 minute video clip about ship stowaway searches CLICK HERE and follow the link

    An Yue Jiang may return its cargo to China

    If there is one thing that stands out among the drama surrounding the Chinese weapon carrying ship An Yue Jiang it is how civil society, including the labour movements and with not a little help from the media, successfully arrested the inertia and lack of direction – some might call it lack of spunk - from government and authorities content to hide behind the letter of the law.

    In so doing ordinary people and organisations have raised the attention of the entire world to what is going on in Zimbabwe (if they didn't already know) and may have succeeded in stopping a consignment of arms and ammunition on a Chinese ship from being delivered to what most people now regard as an illegal government in Zimbabwe.

    Regardless of whatever may happen now with the ship and its contentious cargo, a strong and compelling point has been driven home to elected and non-elected governments across not only the SADC region but further afield in Africa and the wider world, that the will of the people is something to be listened to. It can be said that while SADC leaders dithered or prevaricated, it was ordinary people who stood up and said “enough, stop this now.”

    Yesterday the news agency AFP reported that while China defended its delivery of arms and weapons to Zimbabwe, claiming that it was part of normal bilateral trade which had been arranged last year and therefore had no significance to the latest situation in Zimbabwe, it also hinted that the cargo would be taken back to China.

    While pointing out that China remains a small player in the world of arms dealing, a Chinese government official said that as it appeared the cargo could not be delivered to Zimbabwe as scheduled the shipping line, COSCO, would now consider carrying it back to China.

    Most people in Africa will consider that a happy and correct conclusion, while maintaining a wary eye for future shipments of like kind.

    The action initiated by the members of Satwau, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, and subsequently by its affiliate the International Transport Federation (ITF), together with those of other civil bodies such as the South African Litigation Society and the Namibian Legal Assistance Centre, acting on behalf of churchmen and other concerned citizens, has sent a powerful message to politicians everywhere that ordinary people have not only a voice but the means of making it heard.

    It doesn’t solve the problem in Zimbabwe but those holding onto power in that troubled country know now, if they didn't already, just how the majority of Africans think and feel, regardless of how they and SADC politicians may posture and pontificate.



    Sailing barque Europa arrives in Cape Town


    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
    Europa under full sail

    Sometimes Ports & Ships gets so carried away with what is about to happen that we overlook what is already in front of us. Earlier this week (Monday) is one such instance, when we featured an article about the magnificent Argentine Navy sailing ship ARA Libertad, which is due in Cape Town at the coming weekend.

    In so doing we totally overlooked the arrival last Saturday (19 April) of another equally magnificent example of the art of sail, the Dutch barque Europa which sailed into Cape Town harbour under full sail.

    The ship returns later in the year for yet another season in Argentina and the Antarctic and is now due for some major maintenance and upgrading work. She will stay in Cape Town for five months using local facilities to do all the planned maintenance and upgrading work.

    Many people who come on board struggle to believe the history of the hull of this classic three-master. The special purpose sail training ship Europa was built in 1911 and in 1994 was fully restored as a barque (three mast rigged ship) and now roams the seas of the world in the best seafaring tradition. With a maximum professional crew of 14 and a complement of 48 voyage crew members of all ages and nationalities, Europa is powered by canvas and co-operation.

    The crew ensure the ship’s success and safety. The atmosphere on board reflects an authentic adventurous maritime history. The traditional mahogany deckhouse, teakwood decks and floors as well as the beautiful interior with authentic early 20th century details provide a perfect ambiance for a fantastic voyage. The classic romantic bunks are very comfortable. All cabins are provided with en suite shower and toilet. There are 11 cabins, of which two are 2-person cabins, five are 4-person cabins and four are 6-person cabins. Additionally, the accommodation comprises a hospital, deck lounge with bar, mess room and a library.

    Towering above the decks are the three lofty masts, of which two masts each carry six yards. In a light breeze, a spectator may see the Europa with 30 sails billowing gently, being blown towards the horizon; an image reminiscent of the era of swift clipper ships which carried guests and goods from the Orient round the world.

    In 2007 the barque Europa and its crew touched the hearts of many South Africans, when the first South African team ever sailed on the Europa as part of an international youth exchange during the international Tall Ships Races in the Baltic Sea. Click on this link to follow the journey of the team last year CLICK HERE


    For anyone who has ever dreamt of sailing on a Tall Ship, now is the opportunity to do so!

    The Europa is sailing back to Montevideo, Uruguay and further on to Ushuaia, Argentina on 11 September 2008 - a 59 day ocean passage - the best way of experiencing the magic of Tall Ship sailing.

    If readers would like to learn more about this unique opportunity, contact Antje from Cape Windjammers Education Trust: antje@capewindjammers.org. If booking this passage through Cape Windjammers, a Cape Town based non-profit organisation, you will support the organisation in its efforts to make sail-training on Tall Ships widely available to South African youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, thereby contributing to the development of their life and leadership skills.


    Former SAR&H tug Alwyn Vintcent sold to Australia


    CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
    Postcard of the tug Alwyn Vintcent in Cape Town harbour. Submitted by Gordon Bashford

    We received an email from Mr Gordon Bashford bringing attention to the purchase of the former SAR&H harbour pilot tug Alwyn Vintcent. Mr Bashford lives in Australia and has acquired the tug after museum authorities in Cape Town placed the vessel up for disposal. He will be relocating the tug to Melbourne in Australia where it is to be restored and put back into service on the waters of Port Phillip Bay, home to the ports of Melbourne and Geelong and twice the size of South Africa's False Bay.

    Mr Bashford has indicated his intention of basing the vessel where it can be used to assist other groups maintain their maritime heritage, although the tug will operate along commercial lines. She will retain her green and yellow colour scheme on the smokestack and permission has even obtained to fly the old SAR&H houseflag.

    The new owner has been described elsewhere as an experienced and well respected tug and ferry owner from Queensland, who owns a small fleet of large deep-sea salvage tugs.


    The following article appears on the dedicated website
    www.alwynvincent.wetpaint.com

    The ‘Alwyn Vintcent’ was one of five almost identical steam tugs built in Italy for the South African Railways and Harbours Administration in 1958.

    Delivered under tow by the Dutch tug 'Hudson', she arrived In Cape Town on 26th May 1959.

    Following successful completion of sea trials, she was sent to Mossel Bay which thence became her main port of service and was officially commissioned on 15th July 1959.

    She was named after Alwyn Vintcent, a past chairman of the Mossel Bay Boating Company and member of the harbour's advisory board.

    Her design was unusual, having an uncluttered aft deck for an additional role as a passenger tender for various large ships including the weekly Union Castle mailships when they anchored to load passengers and cargo.

    In 1965, perhaps one of the most famous of these ships, the 'Stirling Castle' on her own last voyage also made the last mailship call to Mossel Bay and the Alwyn Vintcent gained the distinction of being the one of the last servicing pilot tugs to carry the Royal Mail prior to the introduction of the accelerated mail service.

    Even though cargo work had ceased with the mail steamers, a weekly 'Unicorn Line' vessel delivered sugar to the port.

    Alwyn Vintcent carried pilots to these ships and assisted them into port and upon sailing.

    In 1983, the Alwyn Vintcent was replaced by a more modern diesel powered tug and retired from service.

    In 1991 she was restored and returned to service carrying passengers around Table Bay as part of the then named 'South African Cultural History Museum'.

    Unfortunately a reduced operating budget and personnel shortage saw the vessel leased to a private company in 1994 .

    Although her steam plant was still operational some systems required attention and due to increasing operating costs a diesel powered hydraulic system was installed to 'drive' the propeller shaft by disconnecting it from the main engine.

    In 1994 Cedric Hunter closed down the boiler for the last time, prior to a conversion to diesel / hydraulic drive system.

    He is quoted as stating: "She never moved under steam power again and she was the last South African ship to do so. I gained the poignant distinction of being the one to close the era of South African Maritime Steam...."

    In fact the Alwyn Vintcent was the last operational steamship on the South African register.

    Following conversion to a diesel / hydraulic drive, the engine and boiler rooms were closed to the public.

    However, operation as a 'motor vessel' was not successful with people giving preference to more modern and luxurious vessels.

    Once again, the tug was returned to the museum and decommissioned in 2000.

    Throughout the ensuing years, budget restrictions, and changes within the museum's operational structure prevented the museum from being able to manage the vessel and, although placed in 'storage' the Alwyn Vintcent like all ships unable to be maintained, soon began to show signs of neglect.

    Reluctantly the decision was made to de-accession the vessel from the social history collections and sell her for reuse and preservation.

    In April 2008, seven years after being laid up the Alwyn Vintcent was sold into Australian private ownership.

    Of the five vessels built, William Weller, Cecil G White, SJ Harrison, JE Eaglesham and Alwyn Vintcent, only the Alwyn Vintcent survives, virtually 'as built', three others now having succumbed to the 'cutters torch' whereas the 'White' and 'Harrison' were converted to diesel power and extensively modified.

    There are now only three surviving South African steam powered tugs now left in in the world, and, as one of these three in addition to being the only survivor of her class. the Alwyn Vintcent is truly a rare and unique piece of maritime steam history.

    Technical Detail & History

    Name: Alwyn Vintcent
    Other Names: None.
    Vessel Type: Harbour and Coastal Pilot Tug
    Built For: South African Railways and Harbours. (SAR&H)
    Builders: Cantieri Navali e Officiene Meccaniche de Venezia
    Hull No: 165
    Year Ordered: 1956
    Date Launched: 2/7/1958
    Delivered: 1959
    Dimensions: 27.43 x 6.10 x 3.36 (meters)
    Material: Steel with teak decking and wheelhouse.
    GRT: 111.02
    Disp: 212.95
    Class: Built Lloyds 100A1 / tbi AMSA 1C/D 2B/C/D
    Boilers: Single 'Scotch Type' 2 x Furnace.
    Working Pressure: 200 psi
    Main Engine: 390 IHP Triple Expansion Double Acting.
    Speed: 11Kts Service.
    Fuel Type: Coal
    Bunker Capacity: 46 tons total. (23 P & S)
    Consumption: 3.0 tons / 24hrs full load
    Accommodation: 10
    Passenger Capacity: 52 (1D)
    Towing Gear: Quick Release Hook / Towing Bollards.
    Bollard Pull: 5.5 tons



    SA's economic growth linked to regional economy

    by Michael Appel

    Johannesburg, 22 April - The success of South Africa's economy is interlinked with that of the region, in particular the Southern African Development Community's (SADCs) economy.

    “Poor neighbours work against the principle of regional integration, and it undermines stability in both South Africa and the idea of regional integration within SADC,” said Chief Executive Officer of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) Jerry Vilakazi.

    “Also, political stability is a key fundamental for economic growth and stability,” said Mr Vilakazi on Tuesday.

    Therefore, BUSA has called for the immediate release of outstanding results in Zimbabwe's presidential election that took place on 29 March 2008.

    The longer the presidential election's results are withheld, the more South Africa's economy is being undermined and the more the almost non-existent economy of Zimbabwe is being damaged, he said.

    “In the long run, the situation in Zimbabwe is undermining the integration of regional organisations, SADC in particular,” said the CEO.

    The potential of the SADC region in terms of trade and market opportunity is immense, with SADC possessing a market of some 300 million people, compared to South Africa's 40 million plus.

    Therefore, Mr Vilakazi said, when BUSA talks about a market, they are not just talking about the 45 million market in South Africa, but the 300 million people in the region.

    The key to growing the economy of the region he said is to ensure there is a political and investment climate conducive for big business, and Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in particular.

    Mr Vilakzi said SMMEs are the key to economic growth in the 21st Century, adding that “the development of a thriving SMMEs sector in our economy is one of the key focus areas of BUSA."

    With regard to the proposed electricity tariff increase by the state electricity utility, Eskom, he said BUSA has made a submission to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), to ask them to allow greater time for submissions from organisations and the public.

    “This electricity crisis has become a national crisis,” said Mr Vilakazi, adding he hopes Nersa will realise that they must allow sufficient time for consultation before going ahead with a decision.

    According to Eskom, the proposed tariff hike is required to fuel the power utility's capital expenditure (Capex) projects to help them finance additional power stations, helping to relieve electricity supply constraints.

    Economists widely believe, the proposed electricity tariff increase, coupled with the effects of load-shedding and the weakening Rand will further fuel inflationary pressures in the economy.

    BUSA Director for Economic Policy Simi Siwisa told reporters: “we are concerned that the interest rate hike [used by the Reserve Bank] as an instrument to target inflation is not working because consumer spending has slowed, but inflation continues to rise.”

    With regard to the long weekend next week on 2 May 2008, Mr Vilakazi said BUSA is concerned about the impact the two day working week will have on the economy, calling next week a “dead week” for business. - BuaNews



    High food prices a silent global tsunami, says WFP

    London, 22 April – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today that high food prices are creating the biggest challenge that WFP has faced in its 45-year history, a silent tsunami threatening to plunge more than 100 million people on every continent into hunger.

    “This is the new face of hunger – the millions of people who were not in the urgent hunger category six months ago but now are,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran, who is today meeting British Government officials after addressing a UK parliamentary hearing in London.

    “The response calls for large-scale, high-level action by the global community, focused on emergency and longer-term solutions.”

    Analysis being carried out by WFP supports World Bank estimates that about 100 million people have been pushed deeper into poverty by the high food prices. WFP expects to release figures next week estimating how many new people have urgent hunger needs.

    She said that like the 2004 tsunami, which hit the Indian Ocean leaving quarter of a million dead and about 10 million more destitute, the food price challenge requires a global response. At that time, the donor community, including governments, the corporate sector and private individuals, stepped up, giving a record USD12 billion to help with recovery efforts.

    “We need that same kind of action and generosity,” Sheeran said. “What we are seeing now is affecting more people on every continent, destroying even more livelihoods and the nutrition losses will hurt children for a lifetime.” She said WFP is urging a comprehensive approach where all parties, from governments to UN agencies to NGOs, all work together. Alongside other partners, WFP will follow a 3-track response:

  • in the short term, WFP will seek full funding for targeted food safety nets and mother-child health programmes in extreme situations, scale up school feeding and use it as a platform for urgent, nutritional interventions
  • in the medium term, WFP will offer its huge logistics capacity to support life-saving distribution networks – every hour of the day, WFP has 30 ships on the high seas, 5,000 trucks on the ground and 70 aircraft in the sky, delivering food to the hungry; it will also expand cash and voucher programmes and support local purchases from small farmers, helping them to afford inputs and sustain livelihoods
  • and in the longer term, it will support policy reform and provide advice and technical support to governments engaging in agricultural development programmes; at the same time WFP will pursue local purchase contracts that can help farmers increase investment and yields.

    "WFP can, if needed and if asked, ramp up to help cool down a nutritional crisis, so that longer-term solutions can come on board," Sheeran said.

    Just as WFP sends an emergency team into the field to deal with a natural disaster, so it has assembled its top specialists to deploy programmes to mitigate the effects of high food prices among the most vulnerable.

    Sheeran stressed that partnerships will play a critical role in fighting this emergency. WFP has been engaging with donor governments, sister UN agencies, institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and other humanitarian actors, including non-governmental organizations to mobilize a coordinated response.

    The urgency of the situation is underlined by WFP's decision to suspend school feeding to 450,000 children beginning in May in Cambodia, unless new funding can be found in time. WFP representatives in 78 countries around the world are facing similar difficult choices.



    Pic of the day – ALWYN VINCENT

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The tug Alwyn Vintcent, with members of the public enjoying a trip across the harbour. Photographer unknown but picture supplied by G Bashford


    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

    Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all southern African ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Mombasa on the East Coast?

    The daily shipping report for Cape Town now includes a webcam view of the city across Table Bay

    TABLE BAY UNDERWAY SHIPPING
    SHIP PHOTOGRAPHERS
    Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.

    Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.


    P O BOX 809, CAPE TOWN, 8000, SOUTH AFRICA
    snai@worldonline.co.za
    http://home.worldonline.co.za/~snai/indexmain.html




    South Africa’s most comprehensive Directory of Maritime Services is now listed on this site. Please check if your company is included. To sign up for a free listing contact info@ports.co.za or register online






  • Google

    Web ports.co.za

    Click to go back


      - Contact Us


      - Home