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EUKOR’S car carrier MORNING CHAMPION (57,692-gt) arrives in Durban to discharge and load vehicles at the Durban Car Terminal. The 200m long, 32m wide vessel was built in Poland at the Gdynia Shipyard in Gdynia in 2015 and is owned by Ray Car Carriers which has its offices in Douglas, on the Isle of Man. The ship which has a top speed of 22 knots, flies the flag of the Bahamas. This picture is by Keith Betts.

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The rescue operation underway in Table Bay, looking for the missing skipper. Pictures courtesy NSRI

On Saturday, 4 February one of the Cape Town harbour’s service boats, TROUPAND, capsized while some 300 metres offshore of the breakwater.

Toupand carried a crew of three. Two of the men were seen in the water and life rings were thrown to them from the fishing vessel JIN SYI SHIANG that was first on the scene. Shortly afterwards the TNPA work boat BLUE JAY arrived on the scene and picked up the two men in the water.

It was then learned that a third man, the skipper of the launch, was unaccounted for. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) at Table Bay Station 3 had also responded with their rescue vessel SPIRIT OF VODACOM and on arrival swimmers were placed in the water to search for the missing man.

A SA Police Dive Unit boat has also responded to help with the search. Meanwhile the two survivors, both thought to be in their 50s, were taken ashore on the Blue Jay at the V&A Waterfront where paramedics waited to treat them for shock and non-fatal drowning symptoms, before they were transported to hospital by ambulance.

In Table Bay the search for the missing skipper, age 63 was continuing but without success. The NSRI conducted a free dive perimeter search and NSRI rescue swimmers were placed on the upturned hull to listen for any feedback from knocking on the hull. According to the NSRI no feedback was received.

Police and Fire and Rescue divers then initiated a scuba dive search and penetrated the cabins and hull but no sign of the missing man was found. Some areas of the upturned hull could however not be reached. The search then extended from the area where the boat had drifted to where it was estimated that it had capsized but again no sign of the missing man was found.

The upturned hull was towed into port by the Blue Jay and secured in an ongoing operation by the Police while the search for the missing man continued offshore. An investigation has been opened by the SA Police and the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is also investigating.

During Saturday night the upturned Troupant sank while alongside, righting herself in the process. On Sunday (yesterday) a diving company was appointed by TNPA to refloat the vessel and by 15h30 she was brought to the surface. A short while later a search revealed the missing skipper’s body on board the vessel.

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It was reported on 3 February in a briefing from IMO HQ in London that under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will host MTCC-Africa in collaboration with Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Maritime Authority. The selection of JKUAT followed a competitive international tendering process, it is understood.

For the Africa region this is an ambitious project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by IMO, to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

In December 2016, IMO announced that Shanghai Maritime University in China will host MTCC-Asia, while the University of Trinidad and Tobago will host MTCC-Caribbean.

In the coming months two further MTCCs will be established in other target regions – Latin America and the Pacific – to form a global network of such centres.

The five regional MTCCs will deliver the agreed project milestones over a three-year period, making a significant contribution to IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.

The MTCCs will receive allocations from the €10 million European Union funding for the project. They will be established and resourced to become regional centres of excellence, providing leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.

Aims of the GMN project
Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are expected to increase but developing countries, which play a significant role in international shipping, often lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors. This project, formally entitled Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry will enable developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, in the target regions to effectively implement energy-efficiency measures through technical assistance, capacity building and promoting technical cooperation.

It is understood that the project will be implemented through the network of MTCCs which, once operational, will act as focal point for:

  • Improving capability in the region – by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, other relevant government departments and related shipping stakeholders to facilitate compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships.
  • Promoting the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through pilot projects.
  • Raising awareness about policies, strategies and measures for the reduction of GHG and other emissions from the maritime transport sector.
  • Demonstrating a pilot-scale system for collecting data and reporting on ships’ fuel consumption to improve shipowners’ and maritime administrations’ understanding in this regard.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to sustain the impact of MTCC results and activities beyond the project time-line.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
JKUAT is a multi-disciplinary university of global excellence in training, research and innovation that aims to produce leaders in the fields of agriculture, engineering and technology. The university provides degree courses related to maritime shipping and has a track record of engagement in regional maritime capacity building activities.

JKUAT has hosted numerous conferences, seminars and workshops, and has a long history of collaboration with organizations focused on suitable energy solutions and maritime issues.

MTCC-Africa will be strategically located at two offices in the Kenyan Coastal region, at JKUAT Mombasa Campus and at the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC), situated within the Mombasa port facility.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Dock scene at Quelimane, which the Mozambique government hopes will become busy again if a coastal shipping service is established.

The Mozambique Ministry of Transport and Communications announced last week that a coastal shipping service will be launched by the middle of this year.

Minister Carlos Mesquita said that the government was busy setting up the conditions for this operation.

“Within 10 days we will meet with three companies that have submitted their proposals and are currently discussing with Transmaritima details of the development of cabotage services,” he is quoted as saying by the news agency AIM.

According to Minister Mesquita, having a cabotage service on the coast will reduce what he called disparities in terms of competitiveness while benefitting the Mozambique people by reducing commodity prices.

He said the move would also reawaken interest in and the use of the country’s secondary ports “which will have direct implications on local development,” he said.

The reports said that Mozambican sea and river transport company, Transmaritima was looking for a private partner to enable it to operate the service. The private partner will be responsible for “operation, management, maintenance and development of the coastal shipping service at its own risk.”

Maputo newspaper Noticias however, described the state-owned Transmaritima as “almost dying” and which was, because of technical and financial challenges, having to operate along the coast with only small boats to transport passengers and cargo. Perhaps this search for a partner in cabotage coastal shipping is seen by the Mozambique authorities as its possible saving grace.

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Pictured at the Transnet Group Chief Executive Awards were: Rufus Lekala (TNPA Chief Harbour Master), Mohammed Abdool (TNPA Chief Financial Officer), Kaem Narain (Financial Manager), Preston Khomo (Richards Bay Port Manager), Siyabonga Gama (Transnet Group Chief Executive), Nokwazi Kunene (Procurement Manager), Sinamile Zuma (Customer Relations Manager), Herbert Madonsela (Business Strategy Manager) and Nico Walters (TNPA General Manager: Strategy)

Not only has the Port of Richards Bay recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, but it also scooped the Top Performance Award at the 2016 Transnet Group Chief Executive’s Awards which was held in Johannesburg during December.

This award was achieved over three other Transnet operating divisions and followed an earlier victory in the same category at the TNPA Chief Executive’s Awards held earlier in the year.

“Despite being a challenging year for the global economy, 2016 was a watershed year for the Port of Richards Bay as it marked 40 years since opening in 1976,” said Port Manager, Preston Khomo. “Clinching this prestigious Transnet Group award is a great validation of the tremendous effort put in by our terminal operators and employees and we salute them for this.”

To achieve the award the Port of Richards Bay had to smash a number of performance records during the year, it exceeded various financial targets and surpassed benchmarks under Transnet’s Shareholder Compact with its shareholder ministry, the Department of Public Enterprises.

Richards Bay also entrenched its position as South Africa’s leading port in terms of cargo volumes, handling its highest volume ever of 99.2 million tons.

Another record-breaker was the port’s servicing of 2000 vessel arrivals for the first time in its history, representing 4000 ship movements.

The port also ensured that its surrounding communities were not forgotten, by delivering on various Corporate Social Investment initiatives that had a positive impact on disadvantaged communities in the region.

Khomo said a combination of competitive advantages had reinforced the Port of Richards Bay’s status as one of the preferred industrial hubs in the country.

The deepwater port boasts an entrance channel that is 22 metres deep and 300 metres wide and is capable of handling Cape Sized Vessels of up to 200 000 tons with 17 metre draughts.

Six world-class licensed terminals ensure that clients can compete in the global arena. A 104-km conveyor belt network links the port with eight harbour-bound industries. The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone linked to the port also encourages international competitiveness through its world-class infrastructure, with rail links to the hinterland of northern KZN, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

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USS Cole is carried on board the heavylift vessel Blue Marlin after being struck by a suicide boat in Aden harbour in October 2000 . Picture by USMC Sgt MC Miller/Released

The US Navy has responded to last week’s attack on a Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen by sending a destroyer, the Arleigh-Burke class USS COLE (no stranger to Yemeni waters) to patrol the zone around the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait off southwestern Yemen.

USS Cole (DDG-67) had been conducting operations in the Persian Gulf before being re-deployed to the Yemen coast, where Houthi rebels have become increasingly active against shipping passing the coast, especially where it narrows for the Strait. In the attack on the Saudi Al-Madinah-class frigate, which we reported on last week, several Saudi sailors were killed when suicide boats reportedly attacked the ship, although other reports have suggested that the attack might have been carried out by a missile strike from the shore.

Last year a US Navy vessel also came under attack from Houthi rebels who launched several missiles against the USS MASON, which was able to defend itself successfully, destroying the incoming missiles in the process.

Attacks have also been reported against commercial shipping.

The US Navy also has two amphibious warfare ships, USS COMSTOCK and USS MAKIN ISLAND operating in the area. USS Makin Island was involved in a US special forces attack on an Al-Qaeda compound in Yemen at the weekend which resulted in the death of a Navy Seal, injuries to several others and the deaths of a number of civilians.

In 2000 USS Cole was attacked by a suicide boat while in Aden harbour, suffering serious damage that incapacitated the ship and killed a number of the ship’s crew. USS Cole was later returned to the USS on the deck of a heavylift semi-submersible vessel, BLUE MARLIN.

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Cutlass Express 2017 participants pose for a group photograph during opening ceremonies at Port Louis, Mauritius, on 31 January. Cutlass Express 2017, sponsored by US Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA) and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations to counter illicit maritime activity. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Stumberg/Released

From the Commander, US Naval Forces Europe and Africa/US 6th Fleet we learnt on 2 February from Port Louis, Mauritius that maritime forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe, and the United States, as well as several international organizations has begun the sixth in a series of annual multinational maritime exercise known as Cutlass Express.

Cutlass Express 2017, sponsored by US Africa Command and conducted by US Naval Forces Africa, is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa, inform planning and operations.

In the words of Scot Ticknor, foreign policy advisor for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa: “Cutlass Express aims to sharpen our skills in a number of ways so we can make these waterways secure from piracy, illegal fishing, marine pollution, illicit trafficking of people, and other maritime threats that not only affect African nations, but in this interdependent world it affects all of us.”

The exercise leverages The Djibouti Code of Conduct, to which 21 nations are signatories, as a framework for exercising information sharing practices and enforcing maritime rule of law at sea.

Melanie Zimmerman, US Embassy charge d’affaires commented: “Maritime security is just not a US concern, it is an international priority. The fact that so many nations came to Mauritius to participate in Cutlass Express is a clear confirmation of the importance of international cooperation for maritime security, but also the continued desire for strategic partnership among all the participatory nations.”

Scenarios and objectives, specifically for endorsing nations of the globally-recognized Proliferation Security Initiative, are designed to increase capabilities to detect and disrupt the delivery of materials used to build and develop weapons of mass destruction, and will test participating nations’ ability to board vessels and detect illicit activity or respond to piracy incidents.

Here Comoros sailors participating in Exercise Cutlass Express 2017 undertake a board, search and seizure training scenario, sponsored by US Africa Command. The Exercise is conducted by US Naval Forces Africa and is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa.  (US Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Stumberg/Released. USN)

Captain Geoffrey Colpitts, Exercise Cutlass Express 2017 director added: “The Cutlass Express exercise is a collaboration between the partners to develop their capability of controlling the waters around their countries, exercise law enforcement, reduce piracy, illicit trafficking, and promote commerce and trade.”

Participating nations in Cutlass Express 2017 include Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda and the US Representatives from the Eastern Africa Standby Force, EU Naval Force, IMO and Combined Task Force 150.

Exercise Cutlass Express is one of three Africa-focused regional, Express series exercises facilitated by US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet to provide collaborative opportunities among African partners to address maritime security concerns.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories which appear in the general news section.


AMSOL’s salvage tug SMIT AMANDLA leads in her tow, the fire damaged bulk carrier ANTAIOS to Durban harbour where the bulker will have her cargo of soya beans discharged after which it is believed the ship will be taken for breaking up. Antaios suffered an engine room fire in the South Atlantic and after fighting the fire for some time, her crew abandoned ship believing it to be out of control. They were 850 n.miles from Cape Town at the time but another ship responded to their call for assistance and picked the entire crew up, with no injuries having been reported. The crew was later dropped off in Cape Town from where they were repatriated home.

The tug Smit Amandla meanwhile was released from her standby position on the coast and went to the aid of the abandoned vessel. After putting a salvage team on board the fire was brought under control and the ship taken in tow. The problems didn’t end there however, as SAMSA ruled that she must remain at least 30 miles from the South African coast until all pollutants had been removed. Only once this was achieved was she allowed into Cape Town harbour for assessment and some repairs.

This was to enable the ship to be towed in safety to Durban where her cargo of Argentine soya beans intended for Yemen could be discharged, after which it is thought she will be taken to Nacala or some other port for breaking up.

This picture is by Trevor Jones


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