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NYK’s car carrier LORD VISHNU (51,917-gt, built 2008) sails from Durban harbour earlier in February. The ship has a length of 174 metres and a width of 32m and flies the flag of Singapore. NYK has a fleet of more than 120 car carriers and is one of the three biggest shipping lines in Japan with a total in excess of 820 ships of all kinds.

Despite her bulk, the car carrier has a reported maximum speed of 19 knots but it is not known whether this has ever been attained in service. Her average speed is given as between a more moderate 13 and 15 knots. Lord Vishnu’s loaded capacity is 5,195 motor cars. In June 2014 this ship was in a serious collision with two bunker barges in one of the anchorages at Singapore harbour and suffered extensive damage, which has clearly been fully repaired. She was built at the Tsuneishi Holdings Corporation Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Company Tadotsu Factory in Tadotsu, Japan as hull (or yard) number 1376.

The picture was taken by Keith Betts

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Alam Manis in an earlier picture taken in Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand in 2009, which appeared in Ports & Ships at the time. The picture is by Alan Calvert

A Handysize bulk carrier, ALAM MANIS (55,650-dwt, built 2008) has gone aground on the shoal at Cargados Carajos, a small islet made up of shoals and sandbanks and little more north-east of Mauritius.

Alam Manis had sailed earlier from the port of Richards Bay with a cargo of coal and was bound for Pipava in India. The ship went aground on 2 February but so isolated are the Cargados Carajos Shoals that not much news has appeared of this matter.

It is reported that a salvage team likely to be from Five Oceans Salvage is attending, along with divers to inspect the ship’s hull. The identity of the salvor has not been confirmed.

Salvors will be hoping to refloat the vessel without any further damage to the hull and without any pollution. Alam Manis has been aground once before – in July 2015 and in poor weather she went aground off the island of Luzon in the Philippines but was successfully refloated.

Alam Manis is managed by a Philippine company but is owned by Japanese interests, which is where the ship was built in 2007.

The grounding comes about a year after another ship went aground off Mauritius. On June 17 last year the vessel Benita, which was sailing from Durban to Paradip in India, went aground in unusual circumstances, after one of the engineers got into a fight on board, and one of the men locked himself in the engine room and turned off all power on the ship, which then drifted some distance before running aground.

Oil which was spilled was largely contained and cleared up but the ship had suffered severe cracks in her hull which later saw her sinking while under tow to Alang in India for breaking up.

Norwegian Star crippled during cruise off Australia

The 294-metre long 2,240-passenger cruise ship NORWEGIAN STAR’s latest cruise came to a sudden end when the ship lost her main engine power while on a cruise between Australia and New Zealand. Disabled and adrift and not far from Melbourne, the ship was able to provide power for the various facilities but not sufficient to navigate the ship to the port.

Three tugs were sent to bring the crippled passenger ship into port at Melbourne where Repairs to her engine can be carried out. Passengers are able to stay onboard and enjoy visiting Melbourne.

It is understood that the ship’s second azipod broke down after the first had been giving trouble for several weeks, forcing the ship to sail at extremely slow speeds on an earlier cruise. The problems are likely to result on either a number of cruises having to be cancelled, or port calls cancelled on her next cruise.

NCL confirmed the incident in a statement: “During the early morning hours, Norwegian Star’s azipod propulsion system experienced a technical malfunction and the ship is currently without propulsion approximately 20 miles offshore near Melbourne, Australia. The ship has full power and all onboard services are fully operational. All guest amenities remain open and available and the weather conditions are favourable. The ship is in no danger whatsoever and the comfort and safety of our guests and crew are unaffected by this situation.”

HMS Dragon rescues 14 stricken yachtsmen

Paul Ridgway reports from the UK:

On 11 February the (UK) Ministry of Defence reported that the ship’s company of Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon have rescued 14 sailors in treacherous weather conditions that day after a racing yacht suffered damage in the Atlantic.

HMS Dragon was diverted 500 miles away from a routine tasking to provide life-saving assistance to the crew of the 60ft Clyde Challenger racing yacht.

The yacht had left the Azores on 5 February 2017 and was bound for the UK when it suffered significant damage following days of strong winds and heavy seas.

Working with UK and US aircraft as well as merchant shipping, the Portsmouth-based Dragon was tasked to locate and rescue those on the stricken yacht.

Steaming at 30 knots through turbulent seas, the Type 45 destroyer eventually reached the yacht at 1430 on 11 February to render assistance.

Said Petty Officer Max Grosse, the Chief Bosun’s Mate in Dragon: “When we arrived on scene it was clear the yacht had lost its mast and looked in a pretty desperate state after nearly 48 hours drifting in the challenging conditions.

“We were however hugely relieved to see all 14 crew alive and well. Despite racing through the night we only had three hours of daylight remaining in which to safely remove the crew. HMS Dragon is fitted with two large sea boats capable of carrying six passengers each.

“We were able to use both boats to transfer the crew as quickly as possible. The prevailing weather and notorious Atlantic swell made it enormously challenging though and really tested the skills of my experienced seaboat coxswains.”

Those on board had fortunately suffered only minor injuries during the ordeal, but the yacht’s Master determined Clyde Challenger could not be safely recovered to the mainland.

The effort therefore shifted to extracting the 14 members of crew to the safety of the 8,500-tonne warship.

Once safely on board HMS Dragon the relieved crew were afforded medical attention, hot food and the opportunity to call home.

Captain Craig Wood, HMS Dragon’s Commanding Officer reflected: “HMS Dragon’s ability to quickly respond to this sort of tasking in support of a multinational rescue effort shows the flexibility the Royal Navy’s ships and highly-trained people can bring to bear.

“I am delighted HMS Dragon was able to provide vital assistance on this occasion and am rightly proud of the efforts of my sailors in rising to this challenge. It is down to the capability of our ship and the skill of the men and women on board that we could accomplish this rescue in extremely difficult conditions.”

The Royal Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers are world-leading, highly-equipped air defence destroyers. Manned by a ship’s company of 190 and capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots they have been deployed on operations across the globe since 2010.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Eight sailors from the general cargo ship BBC CARIBBEAN (6229-dwt, built 2008) are reported to have been kidnapped by Nigerian pirates operating off the coast of Nigeria.

The attack on the ship took place last week, with the pirates attacking the ship from a speedboat. After boarding the vessel, they took seven Russians and one Ukrainian sailor with them when they left. The pirates were armed but did not make use of their weapons.

Once they left the speedboat headed off in the direction of the Nigerian coast, according to seamen remaining on the ship.

The German-owned vessel is managed by Briese Schiffahrts of Leer in Germany. The ship is flagged in Antigua and Barbuda.

No comment has been forthcoming from the Nigerian Navy or the Nigerian police.

However, a Ukrainian official from the consulate department of the Ukraine Foreign Ministry said that the lives of the sailors were not in danger, suggesting that some official contact has been established with the pirates, who presumably are negotiating for a ransom to release the eight men.

Whereas previously Nigerian pirates focused on the stealing of fuel from tankers and other vessels, they have turned repeatedly to the capturing of hostages who are then ransomed, although the shipping lines and countries involve never admit this or disclose what money is handed over or how this is carried out.

Perhaps one can expect a similar scenario to what happened on the east coast with the Somali pirates, where middlemen in Europe, including, it is said, otherwise respectable law firms and bankers, were deeply involved in the business of ransoming sailors or other captives.

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Naval guests from the US and African partner nations attend the exercise Cutlass Express 2017 closing ceremony at the Djibouti Coast Guard base on 8 February. Cutlass Express 2017, sponsored by US Africa Command and conducted by US Naval Forces Africa, was designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert Price/Released. Photo USN ©)

Maritime forces from Eastern Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe and the United States, as well as several international organisations, concluded the sixth in a series of annual multinational maritime exercise on 8 February. Concurrent closing ceremonies were held in Le Chaland, Mauritius and Djibouti, Djibouti.

Said Rear-Admiral Shawn Duane, Vice Commander, US Sixth Fleet, Director, Maritime Partner Programs, US Naval Forces Europe-Africa: “This has been a tremendously successful exercise and I am happy that it concluded with remarkable progress made by all the partners while building maritime stability and security throughout the region.”

He added: “We had great partners and great teamwork and every year we see progress from all those involved and it is becoming a very important and complex exercise throughout the region.”

Captain Saurabh Thakur, Commandant Mauritius National Coast Guard concluded by saying: “I think Cutlass Express 2017 has been a grand success. There has been a large number of positive inputs that have been received and I am sure the exercises in the future will be quite fruitful.”

Cutlass Express 2017 (CE17) tested participating nations’ ability to respond to illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, and search and rescue situations. Maritime Operations Centres (MOCs) gave participating nations the ability to track and report procedures of simulated suspect vessels. The exercise took place in the vicinity of two operational hubs: Djibouti, and Port Louis, Mauritius.

Karl Mario Nobin, Mauritius Police Force Commissioner, left, Captain Saurabh Thakur, Commandant Mauritius National Coast Guard, centre, and Rear-Admiral Shawn Duane, Vice Commander, US 6th Fleet and Director, Maritime Partner Programs, US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, pose for a photograph during the Exercise Cutlass Express closing ceremony on 8 February. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Stumberg/Release. USN©)

CE17 lasted nine days, which included an in port preparatory phase and three days of underway drills. The exercise leveraged The Djibouti Code of Conduct, to which 20 nations are signatory, as a framework for exercising information sharing practices and enforcing international law of the sea.

Scenarios focused on the globally-recognised Proliferation Security Initiative allowed endorsing nations to develop capabilities to detect and disrupt the delivery of materials used to build and develop weapons of mass destruction.

The US Naval War College facilitated a four-day senior leaders’ seminar with Cutlass Express participating nations to promote the development of national maritime strategies and the development of operational concepts and capabilities to operationalise maritime strategy.

Exercise Cutlass Express is one of three Africa-focused regional Express series exercises facilitated by US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet (CNE-CNA/C6F). The exercise falls under Africa Partnership Station, the umbrella programme for the Express series exercises and other capacity-building initiatives throughout Africa.

Cutlass Express 2017 participating nations included Canada, Comoros, Denmark, Djibouti, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Seychelles, Turkey, the United States and Uganda.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Port of Walvis Bay

Namport says that it will subject itself to a dispute resolution process with former casual workers at the port authority despite the casual workers having never had formal employment contracts with Namport.

The casual workers were used on an ad hoc basis that was dependent on the amount of work available at the port, said Namport. This generally involved the repacking of fish on behalf of fishing companies that use the port.

According to Namport, it has decided to discontinue providing the fish repacking service on behalf of the fishing companies. This is part of an ongoing cost containment drive and follows an in-depth cost benefit analysis.

“Therefore, with effect from 1 February 2017, Namport has discontinued the repacking of fish and resultantly, does not require the services of casual workers who were previously deployed to the operation on an ‘as when needed basis.’ The casual workers have subsequently been notified that Namport would not be calling on their services.”

Namport emphasised that it had not embarked on a retrenchment exercise but has ceased rendering fish repacking services which were deemed to be not cost effective.

The casual workers are not accepting Namport’s decision and insist on being retained by the port authority, despite Namport having stopped repacking fish at the port.

In a lengthy statement at the weekend Namport said that the recent slump in commodity and oil prices and the strengthening of the US dollar against the local currency, as well as increasing interest rates have resulted in a steep decline in imports and exports. This consequently led to lower volumes of cargo going through the authority’s ports, making the cost containment drive necessary.

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On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Mr Jacques Saadé announced the appointment of his son Rodolphe Saadé as Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. Jacques Saadé remains Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“Rodolphe has proven himself over the years, and he has my deepest trust as Chief Executive Officer of the Group,” said Jacques Saadé. “I know that, with Rodolphe as CEO, with Farid Salem and Tanya Saadé Zeenny, our Executive Officers, and all our teams around the world, the Group will continue its development with the same commitment and passion.”

After having left Lebanon to protect his family from civil war, Jacques Saadé moved to Marseilles where he set up the Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement (CMA) on 13 September 1978, with one shipping line linking Marseilles, Livorno (Italy), Lattakia (Syria) and Beirut (Lebanon). With only one vessel and one line, CMA was born.

The company experienced incredible growth, based on Jacques Saadé’s faith in the development of worldwide trade and the crucial role of the container in the global shipping industry. In 1983, his first vessels sailed beyond the Mediterranean Sea and crossed the Suez Canal. In 1986, he launched a shipping line linking Northern Europe to Asia (Singapore, South Korea, and Japan).

In 1992, he opened CMA’s first commercial office in China, in Shanghai, because he was convinced China would become the factory of the world. By combining a strategy of strong internal growth with targeted acquisitions leading to the conquest of new markets, such as CGM in 1996 or Delmas in 2005, his company became number three ranked in 2006.

Rodolphe Saadé was previously Executive Officer. After he founded a company selling water coolers in Middle East, he joined the Group in 1994 in the US He then worked in Hong Kong before coming back to Marseilles to head a shipping line linking Northern China to Japan.

From 1997 to 2000, Rodolphe Saadé successively headed different shipping lines. In 2008, when a cruise yacht owned by Le Ponant, a CMA CGM subsidiary at that time, was hijacked, he was the one who led negotiations with the pirates, which ended with their release.

In 2009, he took over responsibility of the Group’s financial restructuring. In 2015 and 2016, he successfully led the voluntary general cash offer for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), a Singapore based container shipping company. In April of last year, he conducted the talks leading to the signature of the largest operational agreement of the sector with three Asian competitors.

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The Southern African Branch of The Nautical Institute will be presenting their 2nd Command Seminar at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Granger Bay Campus in Cape Town on the 10th & 11th April 2017.

This seminar is one in an international series of Command Seminars to be arranged by The Nautical Institute in Cape Town and in other maritime centres during 2017 – namely: Singapore; London; Cork and Limassol (Cyprus).

The chosen theme of the seminar is ‘Navigational Accidents and their Causes’ which is a subject of critical concern to the industry at the moment and is an area in which the NI has done considerable work.

Papers focusing on this theme as well as issues such as the following will be presented by leading authorities in these disciplines:

    • Navigational Accidents & their Causes
    • Preparing for Command
    • Navigational Assessments/Audits
    • Mentoring
    • ECDIS
    • Ice Navigation and Polar Operations
    • Near Miss Reporting

Registration booking forms as well as other details of the seminar are available by emailing the Nautical Institute Southern Africa at or contact Sandy Leech at (031) 2061861.

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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 HERE 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.


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



Ignazio Messina Line’s Ro-Ro container ship JOLLY QUARZO (50,270-gt, built 2013) always makes for a colourful sight whenever she, or any of her ‘Jolly’ sisters, visits Durban at the southern terminus of their Africa run. This begins in Italy with calls at Red Sea ports before proceeding down the east coast of Africa. Jolly Quarzo was built in South Korea at the Daewoo Shipyards as one of a series of new and identical Ro-Ro ships with Messina Line.

She is 240 metres in length and 37.5m wide with a capacity of 3,900 TEU or 6,350 lin metres of cargo space. The ship’s massive stern ramp is rated for 350 tons, suitable for carrying heavy loads and equipment reaching 7 metres in height. The class of ship boasts highly sophisticated anti-pollution systems entitling them to be registered in RINA Green Plus class, while they have a cruising speed of 21.5 knots and are mainly operated with Italian crews.

This picture was taken by Trevor Jones


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