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Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 17, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

Shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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First View – WHAT ON EARTH

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Fun picture and question for our readers. Guess what this is and why. Clue – it was taken in Cape Town. Email your answers to info@ports.co.za> aerialphoto.co.za


The picture was taken by The Aerial Perspective

 

News continues below...

Piracy: more ships taken as Somali pirates continue unabated

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The Turkish frigate TGS GAZIANSTEP approaches the Danish general cargo ship LEOPARD which was found abandoned after coming under attack from pirates the previous day – see report below. Picture courtesy Turkish Navy/Nato

Cruise ship SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE escapes from pirates

Somali pirates are continuing with their attacks on shipping across an ever wider spread of ocean. As has already been reported (PORTS & SHIPS, Thursday 13 January), the cruise ship SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE reported an approach by pirates just as most of the passengers, all decked out in black tie as it was a formal evening, were sitting down to dinner.

In the event the dinner was temporarily abandoned as passengers were told to sit on the floor away from the windows. The doors to the restaurant were also closed and barricaded as a precaution.

Meanwhile, outside the ship a skiff which had been following the Spirit of Adventure for about an hour had moved closer alongside. By increasing speed the ship was able to draw clear and evade the thought-to-be pirates who made off in another direction.

The incident occurred while the ship was en route from northern Madagascar to the island of Zanzibar off the Tanzanian coast. The cruise ends today in Mombasa, after which Spirit of Adventure sails for the Seychelles and later South Africa. A spokesman for the cruise company issued a laconic response downplaying the incident and saying that while the soup may have gotten cold, the crew were on hand to reheat it.


SAMHO JEWELRY pirated

In a report with a less than happy ending, the Norwegian-owned chemical products tanker SAMHO JEWELRY (19,924-dwt, built 2001) has been seized by pirates approximately 350 n.miles south east of Muscat in Oman. The ship has a crew of 21 seafarers on board, drawn from Korea, Indonesia and Myanmar. EU NAVFOR has no details available of the attack and says that the ship was not registered with MSC(HOA) nor had it reported to UKMTO.


Indian dhow pirated off Omani coast

An Indian dhow named AL MUSA has been attacked and captured by pirates about 800 n.miles off the coast of Oman and it is now expected that the dhow will be turned into a pirate mothership utilising the crew of 14 on board. There is no other immediate information to hand about the crew or the cargo.


Crewmen thought to be kidnapped from Danish ship

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In a story with a difference, the six crewmen from a Danish general cargo vessel LEOPARD (1780-dwt, built 1989) have been removed from the ship, presumably by pirates. It is thought the men may have been transferred across to the seized Taiwanese fishing vessel SHIUH FU 1 which is being used as a mothership. Initially the crew reported being under attack and said they were retreating to a citadel on the vessel. But when naval forces from a Turkish warship operating with NATO boarded the ship on Thursday, 13 January, the day following the attack on the Leopard, they found the ship abandoned with cargo seemingly intact but the crew missing. Reports suggest the ship is carrying a cargo of weapons, adding more mystery to the incident. The NATO report of the matter makes no mention of the type of cargo.

 

News continues below…

NSRI evacuates deckhand from trawler offshore Port Elizabeth

Ian Gray, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) station commander at Port Elziabeth reports on the successful medical evacuation of a crewman from a Cape Town fishing trawler operating near Port Elizabeth.

“The NSRI Port Elizabeth was activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for urgent medical assistance from the 40 metre Premier Fishing Company (Cape Town) long line crayfish trawler Ibahy reporting a 40 year old male deckhand onboard, from Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, struck by a crayfish net anchor, 17 nautical miles South of Port Elizabeth.

“The ship’s Captain had already altered course heading towards the Port of Port Elizabeth and NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteers launched our sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV and rendezvoused with the trawler 7.5 nautical miles South of Cape Recife in 23 knot Southerly winds and 1.5 to 2.5 metre swells.

“Our NSRI medics were put aboard the trawler and the deckhand was found to be on the deck in the same place where he had fallen, after being struck by the crayfish net anchor, (the Captain of the ship had instructed that the patient not be moved by his crew, prior to the NSRI’s arrival, for fear of increasing the degree of his injury), and his fellow crew were found to be managing the patient for shock, limiting movement to prevent further injury and to prevent any possible increase to the degree of his injuries and keeping the patient secure, reassured and warm.

“The patient, suffering a suspected shoulder (scapula) fracture and a suspected forearm (radius) fracture, was stabilised on deck by NSRI medics who also took the precaution of securing the patient’s Cervical Spine by immobilising the patient who was secured onto a stokes basket stretcher and transferred onto our sea rescue craft.

“On our arrival at our sea rescue base the patient has been handed into the care of Guardmed ambulance services and transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

“The Captain and his crew, of Ibahy, can be commended for their professional and effective conduct in dealing with this emergency and for the care they displayed in the treatment of their fellow crewman.

“It appears that while (believed to be) lifting a crayfish net the crayfish net anchor line may have come up too quickly possibly bouncing or flipping the anchor on a roller and hitting the deckhand on the back of his right shoulder and right arm – although an official inquiry will be opened by SAMSA (the South African Maritime Safety Authority).

 

News continues below...

Turners Shipping joins international shipping alliance

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At the signing of the agreement between Turners Shipping and BDP International were, front from left, Tim Frear, Director - BDP Global Network Services, and Turners Group MD Conrad Cochrane-Murray. Behind them were Rishen Naidoo, Turners Shipping's Johannesburg Airfreight Manager, and Braam Lourens, Johannesburg Regional Sales Manager

Durban-based Turners Shipping has announced that it has joined the BDP Global Network and that it will be representing the logistics giant in Southern Africa.

Turner Group MD Conrad Cochrane-Murray said that membership of the network would be a great step forward for the country because it extended its reach to the one thousand locations in 100 countries around the world where the BDP Global Network is represented.

BDP is strong in the East, particularly in China, he said, where its expertise and comprehensive on-the-ground representation would be valuable for Southern African businesses aiming at the lucrative and rapidly-growing market in the region for raw materials and manufactures.

Tom Frear, Director - BDP Global Network Services, said he welcomed Turners Shipping as the newest Premium Partner member of the BDP Global Network.

He said that BDP had placed great importance on their choice of South African partner due to the fact that the country has the most sophisticated economy on the continent and that it functions as the effective gateway to much of the sub-Saharan region.

It had been vital, he said, to choose a partner with a proven track record and commitment to customer service and that Turners Shipping had proved to be the right fit at the right time. He said that he was confident that Turners had the expertise and commitment to service required by BDP's clients shipping goods into the region.

Cochrane-Murray said that BDP was closely aligned with the 114-year-old Turners Shipping due to the fact that both organisations are specialists in logistics relating to the oil, gas and chemical industries. He also pointed to the fact that both were privately owned and had very similar corporate cultures in which the service is ranked as the overriding priority for all staff members.

He commented that the new alliance would not produce any disruption to the service provided for existing Turners Shipping clients but that, to the contrary, the knock-on benefits to them would be substantial.

Most important was the organisation's global representation to help ensure the smooth flow of cargoes from South Africa to their overseas destinations. BDP's world class BDP Smart information system would provide another great benefit to Turners Shipping's clients who would be proactively notified about the progress of their shipments in real- time.

According to Cochrane-Murray, the system would provide instant feedback to clients and this would complement the Cargowise system being implemented by Turners, which would perform a similar function, once incoming shipments reach South African shores.

Frear said that there had been a great deal of consolidation in the logistics industry, particularly as a result of the recent recession, and that the surviving mega- forwarders had become so large that they were less nimble and concerned with each individual client. He said that BDP was in an ideal position to compete on a global basis because it remained small enough to look after each client, but had the muscle to negotiate extremely favourable shipping rates with the major carriers. – press release

 

News continues below…

General shipping news – US extends blacklist of IRISL

US blacklists 20 Hong Kong shipping companies

The United States has blacklisted 20 Hong Kong-based shipping companies for trading with the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) or its front companies, in contravention of US laws that are aimed at preventing Iran from furthering its nuclear capability.

The 20 Hong Kong companies form part of 26 companies internationally that have been placed on the US ban list. Four of the companies are registered in the Isle of Man and two are Tehran-based Aerospace Industries Organisation affiliates. The US decree prevents US citizens from doing any business with the banned companies or their affiliates which are accused of failing to uphold UN sanctions against Iran.

In an attempt to overcome the sanctions, IRISL in 2008 began registering its ships outside of Iran, notably in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government says it will make the relevant subsidiary legislation to designate entities subject to financial sanctions as decided by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and that it would continue to exercise vigilance in enforcing its local legislation to effectively implement the UNSC sanctions against Iran.


India calls for ban on ships over 25 years

The Indian Shipping Ministry has called for a ban on all ships over 25 years in Indian ports, as a result of the collision involving the MSC CHITRA and a bulker KHALIJIA III outside Kawaharla Nehru Port (Mumbai) in August last year.

Resulting from the collision, during which MSC Chitra capsized, over 250 containers were lost overboard, leading to the closure of the port for a number of days. See our report of 19 August 2010 Indian Navy called in to find missing containers. MSC Chitra was built in 1980 and was due for scrapping, according to reports. A member of the Indian Shipping Ministry which conducted a report into the collision, Captain PVK Mohan is reported as saying that the age of the MSC Chitra and communication problems were responsible for the closing of the port. His committee made 18 suggestions arising from the enquiry, which included a call for a ban on ships of more than 25 years.

In other reports the cause of the collision has been levelled at the Khalijia, not the MSC Chitra.

 

CMA CGM includes Indian call with Far East – West Africa service

CMA CGM’s AFEX service, calling between ports in the Far East and West Africa, will in future include India by way of a call at Cochin.

The new rotation becomes Xingang, Shanghai, Shantou, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Nansha, Port Klang, Abidjan, Cotonou, Lagos, Douala, Maputo, Cochin, Port Klang, and Xingang. The service is operated by nine ships each with an average capacity of 2,230 TEU, of which CMA CGM provides six vessels and three come from its subsidiary, Delmas.

 

News continues below…

Queen Mary 2 leaves New York for South Africa

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picture by Ian Shiffman

QUEEN MARY 2, the world’s third largest cruise ship (some would prefer the label of ‘liner’), is currently heading for the Caribbean having sailed on Saturday from Fort Lauderdale in Florida for Barbados. The 150,000 ton ship is on her way via Brazil and South America for Cape Town, where she is due on 4 February, and Durban on 7 February.

This will be the giant ship’s second visit to South Africa, the first being last year when in March she called at Durban and then Cape Town on her maiden visit to South Africa. Thousands of people turned out along the vantage points in both cities to watch the majestic ship arrive and depart.

Shortly before leaving on her current World Cruise which takes her via South Africa to Australia and New Zealand and then the Pacific islands before heading back to the Americas, Queen Mary 2 rendezvoused on the Hudson River in New York with her fellow ‘queens’, the Cunard ships QUEEN VICTORIA and QUEEN ELIZABETH, making history of a kind in the process. This was only the second time in 170 years of Cunard history that its entire fleet was in New York at the same time.

According to the Voice of America the three ships left port under police escort, with a ceremonial spray from a New York fire boat. The three Queens’ rendezvous was marked by 20 minutes of fireworks from two locations, with the Statue of Liberty serving as a backdrop to one of them. Shortly afterwards the ships separated to their respective directions.

When Queen Mary 2 reaches South Africa it will be on an opposite heading to her 2010 visit, west to east. Last year Durban had the honour of being the first city and port to welcome the flagship of the Cunard fleet, which are always welcome visitors to South Africa. So much so that thousands of ordinary people flocked to the various vantage points to see the ship arrive and sail.

In the case of Durban the most heavily occupied position was the base of the newly rebuilt North Pier, specially opened by Transnet National Ports Authority for the occasion. It is hoped that similar arrangements can be made once again for the forthcoming visit, an event that always provides welcome publicity for either Durban or Cape Town.

 

News continues below…
 

Mailship commodore’s final call

The death has occurred in Durban of Commodore Robin Thomson, first commodore of the Safmarine mailships (SA VAAL and SA ORANJE) and later a master on the Safmarine ‘Big White’ vessel SA Helderberg, which he delivered to South Africa from the French shipyard.

Robin Thomson was a South African seafarer, a product of the training ship General Botha. He first went to sea during World War 2, surviving the sinking of his first ship on which he was serving. After the war he joined Safmarine soon after that company’s formation, rising to take command of a number of their ships including the two mailships SA Vaal and SA Oranje. He became the first Safmarine man to reach the position of fleet commodore.

Commodore Thomson, who was in his eighties, died in hospital after becoming ill following a fall at his home on the Berea, where he had lived after his retirement in 1984. His wife Helene had died a few years previously.

R.I.P.

 

Pics of the Day - IOANNIS

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The Maltese flagged Greek crude oil tanker IOANNIS (105,423-dwt, built 1999), which was in Cape Town harbour recently. This picture by Ian Shiffman

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A stern view of the same ship. This picture by Aad Noorland

 

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