Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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MSC Erminia in Durban October 2017. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Erminia. Picture: Trevor Jones

The 3,720-TEU capacity container ship MSC ERMINIA (48,220-dwt) is seen here having her cargo worked at Durban’s D berth, using one of the two City Terminal’s mobile cranes available here. The 276-metre long ship is one of the older MSC vessels currently in service, having been built in 1993 at the Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co Ltd in Japan as their hull number 2740. She is the second ship to carry the name Erminia, the first having been a 1979-built, 978-TEU vessel scrapped in 2000. The picture is by Trevor Jones


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New gantry STS cranes arriving in Beira in 2013, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
New gantry STS cranes arriving in Beira in 2013

In a shock statement, Mozambique’s Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) is calling for the annulment of the leases on the ports of Beira and Quelimane on grounds of a conflict of interest involving Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita, a close confidante of the current president, Filipe Nyusi .

The statement is reported in Tuesday’s edition of the Maputo daily Noticias.

The two ports are leased to the Dutch firm Cornelder B.V. – Cornelder-Mocambique in the case of Beira and Cornelder-Quelimane for the Port of Quelimane. PGR says that when Carlos Mesquita signed memorandums of understanding in July 2016 leasing the ports to these companies, they were both headed by his brother, Adelino Mesquita.

Cornelder B.V. and the state-owned Mozambique port and rail company CFM own Cornelder-Mocambique and were…[restrict] originally granted the lease on the Port of Beira in 1998. Carlos Mesquita was appointed the chairman and managing director and when current Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi appointed Mesquita to the government in January 2015, the management of Cornelder-Mocambique passed into the hands of his brother, Adelino.

The Port of Quelimane was leased to Cornelder-Quelimane in 2004. It too was headed by Carlos Mesquita, and the management position also went to his brother when he became a minister.

After the new leases for the two ports were signed last year, the Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption (GCCC) requested intervention by the Central Public Ethics Commission (CCEP), a body set up under the Law on Public Probity to investigate cases of conflict of interests.

The GCCC asked whether, in signing leases with companies run by his brother, Mesquita was not in a conflict of interests. The CCEP decided that he was, and sent its decision to the GCCC this year.

The GCCC declined to initiate criminal proceedings against Mesquita, on the grounds that the components of the crime of corruption were not present. According to the PGR source cited by Noticias, there was no sign that the leases gave any undue advantage to the Minister himself or to any third party.

But the PGR says there was indeed a conflict of interest, and argues that, in order to respect the Law on Public Probity, Mesquita should not have signed the leases.

Adelino Mesquita died in a plane crash in March this year – Africa PORTS & SHIPS AIR CRASH CLAIMS LIVES OF TOP CORNELDER PEOPLE. His brother Carlos remains in the office as Minister of Transport. source AIM & Noticias.[/restrict]


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SA Agulhas II, which sailed for East Africa from Durban yesterday on an IORA expedition. On board were scientists drawn from across Africa and further afield. This was the ship's first ever visit to Durban. Picture by Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SA Agulhas II, which sailed for East Africa from Durban yesterday on an IORA expedition. On board were scientists drawn from across Africa and further afield. This was the ship’s first ever visit to Durban. Picture by Trevor Jones

A total of US$50,000 (R675,000) is to be allocated to projects in support of African oceans economy projects under the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy.

“A country’s foreign policy is firmly premised on its domestic priorities, hence, as South Africa, we expect great dividends from linking Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Blue Economy to our domestic Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy initiative,” Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said.

She was addressing the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) 17th Meeting of the Council of Ministers, which was held in Durban on Wednesday.

During the council meeting South Africa assumed the Chair of IORA.

The Minister said the meeting was used successfully to advance South Africa’s priorities for its time as IORA Chair from 2017 to 2019, including the African Union’s 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) and Agenda 2063.

“As is the tradition when assuming the IORA Chair, South Africa will make a financial contribution of US$250,000 (R3.375 million), in the form of US$150,000 to assist in the implementation of the IORA Action Plan 2017-2021, particularly for the establishment of the new working groups and the core group.

“Further, the African Agenda is a prominent feature of South Africa’s foreign policy, and we will make funds available for the IORA Special Fund (US$100,000) for pilot development projects aimed at improving the lives of IORA’s poorest people,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.

Half of the funds for the IORA Special Fund will be allocated to the ocean economy projects.

“We were humbled by the council’s appointment of South Africa’s Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe, South Africa’s former High Commissioner to Mauritius, as the next Secretary General of IORA,” she said.

Dr Nokwe will succeed Ambassador K V Bhagirath, who will conclude his term as Secretary General of the association at the end of the year.

“In this regard, I wish to thank Ambassador Bhagirath for his sterling leadership of the Secretariat over recent years, and we wish Dr Nokwe the best in her new position. We assure her of our support,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said. –


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NRZ diesel locomotive and train, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NRZ diesel locomotive and passenger train

A US$400 million deal between the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and a consortium led by South Africa’s Transnet and the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) received the nod of the Zimbabwe cabinet this week.

“I can confirm that Cabinet has agreed to the investment. We will soon be meeting with the investor to tie up the nitty-gritties. I am very happy about this development because the investors have a lot of resources they want to pour into the project to make it successful, and this includes reviving NRZ’s passenger and freight business,” said Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo.

Some 85 companies expressed interest in the redevelopment of NRZ, a vital link in the transportation of freight…[restrict] and passengers not only within Zimbabwe but importantly, across the SADC region. The rail link between the South African manufacturers and the ports is dependent on an efficient working railway to the north, where the Cape gauge railway extends as far as Zambia, the DRC and even to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

In South Africa the Standard Bank, Nedbank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and the Industrial Development Corporation (SA) have provided the funding letters worth US$1.2 billion for the project, of which $400 million is earmarked for initial investment in capital expenditure.

According to reports, the deal stumbled briefly over the questions raised about the competence of Transnet to ably invest in the project.

These questions had, it turned out, been examined and satisfactorily evaluated during the decision-making process involving several Zimbabwe government agencies.

DIDG/Transnet emerged as a winning bidder from five other companies — China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation; Crowe Howath Welsa; Croyeaux (Pvt) Limited; Sinohydro Corporation Limited; Smh Rail Sdn Malaysia — that had been shortlisted for the deal. In the initial stages, 82 companies submitted bids for the parastatal.

Zimbabwe’s The Herald reports that the DIDG/Transnet has an ambitious three-year strategy that is premised on buying new locomotive and wagons and revamping operational efficiencies. From the $400 million capital expenditure, $150 million will be earmarked for 24 mainline locomotives and 13 rail shunters or shunting locomotives. Twenty locomotives that are part of the current fleet are expected to be refurbished. Similarly, NRZ plans to acquire 1000 new wagons and refurbish an existing 700.

The report says that more than $100 million will be invested in modernising and refurbishing the State enterprise’s train control and signalling system.[/restrict]

Tanzania Standard Gauge Rail deal goes to Turkish company

A US$1.9 billion deal to build the second phase of Tanzania’s standard gauge railway from Dar es Salaam into the country’s hinterland, has been awarded to a Turkish company, Yapi Merkezi.

The same Turkish firm has already begun construction of Phase 1 of the ambitious contract, which is being funded by Tanzania from its own resources. Phase 2 will see the line extended a further 205-km between Morogoro and Makutupora. The contract is worth US$1.92 billion.




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Viking's new ferry passenger design as will be built in China, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Viking’s new passenger ferry ship design as will be built in China

The keel-laying ceremony for Viking Cruises’ sixth cruise ship out of a planned eight vessels was laid at Fincantieri Ancona shipyard on Wednesday (18 October).

The 946-passenger ship (47,800gt) is scheduled for delivery in 2019. Another newbuild, named VIKING ORION was floated out at Ancona several weeks ago and will join the fleet in the northern summer of next year. The fleet consists of Viking Star, built at Fincantieri, Marghera in 2015 and Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, all delivered from Ancona in 2016 and 2017.

New ship from China

In a departure from what had become the norm, Viking Cruises also announced that…[restrict] it has ordered a new cruise ship from the Xiamen Shipbuilding yard in China. Not of the same type as the ships mentioned above, the new vessel will replace the AMORELLA which operates on the Turku-Stockholm route and which is up for sale.

According to the Finnish company, it will save €100 million by building the ship in China compared to a local shipyard in Finland. Delivery will also be earlier than if built in Europe. The cost of the China-built ship is reported to be €194 million.

Viking’s chief executive Jan Hanses said it had proved easy to arrange financing in China where Finnish and German banks are also on board alongside Chinese institutions.

The Chinese-built ship will be fitted with the new mechanical rotor sail. The rotor sail will use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and will be more energy-efficient than Viking’s passenger ferry flagship, Viking Grace, burning roughly one-tenth less fuel than Grace, which runs on three alternative fuels: the traditional heavy fuel oil, diesel or LNG.

Grace’s dual-fuel engines operate and run on LNG and as a result, the emission of nitrogen oxide is 80% less than the IMO’s (International Maritime Organisation) existing specified level.

“We have optimised the machinery, the body and reduced energy consumption on the hotel deck,” Hanses said.

The Chinese-built ship will use Wärtsilä engines and a number of Finnish sub-contractors will be employed on the new ship. Hanses said that the only dockyard that would have been able to build the ship was the Turku shipyard, “but they have such a packed order book that they could only offer delivery around 2024.”[/restrict]


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France's new research, patrol and supply ship L'Astrolabe. Picture: French Navy, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
L’Astrolabe. Picture: French Navy

The French Navy’s new ice-breaking and patrol vessel L’ASTROLABE has sailed from her homeport in Port des Galets in La Réunion to begin her maiden season in Antarctic waters.

The 72-metre vessel sailed from the Indian Ocean island on 12 October 2017 and is expected to return in March next year.

L’Atrolabe represents both the French Navy as well as the French Polar Institute…[restrict] (Institut Polaire Français Paul Emile Victor – IPEV) and the Dumont d’Urville Station in Antarctica during the austral summer.

During her current expedition in Antarctic waters she will call first at Hobart in Tasmania at the end of October from where she will carry out five resupply missions to the remote scientific station on Antarctica.

L’Astrolabe was built in France at the Piriou shipyard in Concarneau. The ship has replaced two former vessels – the research vessel ASTROLABE (1984-2017) which was chartered each year by the Austral and Antarctic French Territories (TAAF) and the IPEV to carry supplies to the French Antarctic base in the Adelie Land; and the patrol vessel ALBATROS (1967-2015), owned and operated by the French Navy which undertook sovereignty and patrol missions in the Southern oceans.

L’Astrolabe is able to sail continuously in ice up to 60 to 80 cm thick and has accommodation for up to 60 persons while also carrying up to 1,400 tons of freight. She is listed as a unit of the French Navy where she is registered as a naval forces ‘polar patrol vessel’. She also operates for about half the year within a partnership involving TAAF, the IPEV and the French Navy to provide support to scientific bases in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans during the austral summer (120 days a year) and the balance of the year (245 days) on French Navy sovereignty missions.[/restrict]


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Mtwara service map and route, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

French container line CMA CGM has announced the launch of the Mtwara Express to serve the upcoming cashew season in Tanzania.

The service will consist of [restrict]three vessels each up to 2.700 TEU capacity.

Three departures from the southern Tanzania port of Mtwara are guaranteed for the dates: Wednesdays 1 November; 15 November’ and 29 November 2017.

CMA CGM says that the highest service standards on its Mtwara Express offer cashew exporters a fast and reliable link to major destinations in India and Vietnam. Cochin is reached in 11 days, Mangalore in 14 days and Ho Chi Minh Cat Lai in 24 days.[/restrict]


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ENS Fateh arriving at Alexandria Naval Base, appearinf in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

ENS El Fateh and S42 arriving at Alexandria naval base. Pictures: Egyptian Defence Ministry, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
ENS El Fateh and S42 arriving at Alexandria naval base. Pictures: Egyptian Defence Ministry

The Egyptian Navy has taken delivery of its second TKMS-built Type 209/1400 submarine, S42, which arrived at the Egyptian main naval base at Alexandria on Wednesday, 18 October 2017.

The submarine arrived together with Egypt’s new French-built Gowind corvette, ENS EL FATEH, the first of the Gowind 2500 corvettes to be delivered to the Egyptian Navy from…[restrict] the French shipbuilder, Naval Group.

The two vessels had been ceremoniously handed over at their respective shipyards on earlier dates – S42 on 8 August and El Fateh on 22 September. During their delivery voyages they met in the Atlantic so as to arrive together at Alexandria. While en route both vessels carried out a joint exercise with the French Navy.

S42 is the second of four submarines being built by TKMS for the Egyptian Navy. The first submarine, S41 arrived in Alexandria on 19 April this year. They are replacements for the country’s ageing Romeo-class submarines.[/restrict]


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BF-1 Flt 675 piloted by Cdr Nathan Gray, ski jump testing with external pylons and AIM-9x from NAS Patuxent River, MD. Photo: Crown Copyright, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
BF-1 Flt 675 piloted by Cdr Nathan Gray, ski jump testing with external pylons and AIM-9x from NAS Patuxent River, MD. Photo: Crown Copyright

The UK’s F-35B fighter jets have been cleared for take-off from the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH after they passed land-based ski-ramp trials.

This was announced by UK defence minister Harriett Baldwin speaking before the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on Tuesday this week.

“Successful ski-ramp trials mean the F-35 is cleared to fly from the carrier as the momentum continues for this game-changing jet,” said Baldwin. “This milestone comes as our pilots and planes prepare to return from the States, ready for next year’s unforgettable flight trials from the deck of the nation’s new flagship.”

One of the other questions addressed at the Defence Select Committee were concerns raised…[restrict] in a Times report which said the UK F-35Bs would be too heavy to land vertically on HMS Queen Elizabeth under full load. During the hearing, LockheedMartin UK CEO, Peter Ruddock assured MPs that the F-35B was capable of landing vertically with a full internal weapon and fuel load.

HMS Queen Elizabeth on which the F-35Bs will be based, seen here on recent sea trials, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMS Queen Elizabeth on which the F-35Bs will be based, seen here as an artist’s impression

The UK currently has 12 F-35 jets out in the United States where they are being tested ahead of flight trials from the Royal Navy’s 65,000 tonne carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, next year. Two more aircraft are set to be delivered by the end of the year.

During this week’s Select Committee session, the Defence Minister announced that the Integrated Test Force has now successfully completed ski ramp trials. That milestone clears the aircraft for take-off from the deck of the carrier.

Speaking about the jet, Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, part of the F-35 Integrated Test Force which includes five British pilots, said: “She’s marvellous. She has an incredible amount of thrust but it’s more than just brawn that makes her so fantastic to fly – it’s the brains behind her as well.

“She’s a masterful piece of engineering and it makes her so effortless to fly. It’s impossible not to be exhilarated every time. She’s a beast when you want her to be and tame when you need her to be. She’s beautiful.

“The launch of the F35s from the HMS Queen Elizabeth is a once in a generation historical event. To be the first to fly off the carrier, to have a front row seat, would be an absolute privilege. It wouldn’t just be about the pilot – there are hundreds of people who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen and the honour will be theirs too.”

There are already 150 UK personnel out in the US working with the jets.

The new home of 617 squadron, RAF Marham, continues to build towards the arrival of the jets next year, moving a step closer earlier this month when the runway intersection resurfacing was completed. 617 Squadron will be the first operational British F-35 unit. source: UK Ministry of Defence[/restrict]


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USN ack ack competition during  Formidable Shield 2017, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
USN ack ack competition

Ships from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in a successful live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) scenario, defending against a supersonic target on 17 October, concluding exercise Formidable Shield 2017 (FS17), which began on 24 September.

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) conducted Formidable Shield on behalf of the US 6th Fleet. This was reported by US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet Public Affairs on the evening of 17 October.

During the collective self-defense scenario, the Netherlands frigate HNLMS Tromp (F803) fired a…[restrict] Standard Missile (SM) 2 and an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) against the supersonic target.

FS 17 badge, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FS 17 badge

US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, were designated as opposition forces and fired the supersonic target during this exercise scenario.

In the words of Italian Navy Rear-Admiral Francesco Covella, STRIKFORNATO deputy chief of staff of operations: “Events like this require a joint effort, from all different type of assets, and represent a great opportunity to demonstrate the cooperation among Allies on development of integrated air missile defense capabilities. Formidable Shield is the right opportunity for forces to practice together and to allow them to adapt tactics and procedures to strengthen and improve NATO collective ability to defend against increasingly complex ballistic missile and air threats.”

During FS17, four nations conducted a total of eleven successful missile launches. During the first live-fire event on 7 October the Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) fired three Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) fired two SM-2s at four incoming anti-ship cruise missiles.

During the second live-fire event on 15 October the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) fired one SM-3 Block IB guided missile against a medium-range ballistic missile target. Also on 15 October the Spanish frigate SPS Alvaro de Bazan (F101) fired one ESSM against an incoming anti-ship cruise missile while Tromp fired two ESSMs against a pair of incoming anti-ship cruise missiles.

USN ack ack competition during Formidable Shield 17, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Notable firsts that occurred during FS17 include: the first time NATO’s smart defense concept was demonstrated with ships serving as air defense units protecting naval ballistic missile defense units; the first no-notice launch of anti-ship cruise missiles as part of an IAMD scenario; and the first time a NATO IAMD task group was exercised at sea.

“The IAMD Task Group demonstrated our ability, as an alliance, to operate at the highest end of warfare”, said Vice-Admiral Christopher W Grady, Commander, STRIKEFORNATO; Commander, US 6th Fleet. He continued: “Our NATO allies and partners are committed to working together in any environment, even in hurricane conditions. I applaud the 3,300 professionals from 10 nations who showed their flexibility, adaptability, and teamwork during the highly successful, challenging, no-notice scenarios.”

More than 14 ships, 10 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US, participated in FS17 on the UK Ministry of Defence Hebrides Range on the Western Isles of Scotland.

FS was designed to improve allied interoperability in an IAMD environment, using NATO command-and-control reporting structures and datalink architecture. FS17 was the inaugural iteration of what is planned to be a recurring, biennial event designed to assure allies, deter adversaries, and demonstrate US commitment to collective defense of the NATO alliance. The next in the FS series will be held in 2019.

STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable headquarters that provides scalable command and control across the full spectrum of the alliance’s fundamental security tasks. As part of that mission, STRIKFORNATO is responsible for integrating US naval and amphibious forces into NATO operations.

US 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to advance US national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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African land cover as seen by satellite. © ESA/ATG medialab. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2015-2016), processed by Land Cover CCI, ESA. appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
African land cover as seen by satellite. © ESA/ATG medialab. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2015-2016), processed by Land Cover CCI, ESA.

From the barren Sahara to lush jungles, the first high-resolution map classifying land cover types on the entire African continent has been released by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The map was created using a year’s worth of data from the Sentinel-2A satellite and as can be seen it shows Africa’s diverse landscapes from grasslands to croplands, water bodies to deserts.

Land-cover mapping breaks down the different types of material on the Earth’s surface. This information is important for understanding changes in land use, modelling climate change extent and impacts, conserving biodiversity and managing natural resources.

The Sentinel-2 satellite over Italy and the N Mediterranean. Photo: ESA ©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Sentinel-2 satellite over Italy and the N Mediterranean. Photo: ESA ©

The map released early in October comprises 180,000 Sentinel-2A images representing 90 terabytes captured between December 2015 and December 2016. Considering the size of the map – about six gigabytes – a web interface was developed to visualise the data.

The map was developed under ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project.

In the words of Frédéric Achard from the Joint Research Centre: “The prototype high-resolution land cover map over Africa is an impressive demonstration of the Sentinel-2A data availability and of the present capabilities for the processing of such huge volumes of data. The community dealing with land resources in Africa will surely look forward with great interest to this prototype and to its future development.”

The pair of Sentinel-2 satellites offer colour vision for Europe’s Copernicus programme. They each carry a multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands that can be used for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security. Satellite images can be used to determine various plant indices such as leaf area chlorophyll and water content.


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the Chinese bulk carrier Grand Amanda, Picture courtesy Shipspotting, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
the Chinese bulk carrier Grand Amanda, Picture courtesy Shipspotting

Not all sea rescue reports have a happy or satisfactory conclusion.  Geoff McGregor, NSRI station commander at East London, reports the following:

“At 17h30, Wednesday, 18 October, NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) were alerted by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of a crewman reported to be critically injured with injuries and fractures to both legs and both thighs onboard the Chinese bulk carrier MV GRAND AMANDA (79,467-dwt) approximately 189 nautical miles off-shore of the East Coast and re-routing towards East London.

“A Government Health EMS duty doctor had provided medical advice to the ships crew to aid in treating the patient and unfavourable sea conditions and the distance ruled out a helicopter patient evacuation and the ship was diverted to head towards nearest Port.

“While efforts were underway to arrange a helicopter patient evacuation for first light the following morning the TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) Pilot boat transported Dynamic ambulance services rescue paramedics to the vessel once she was closer to the Port of East London but extremely rough seas and gusting to 50 knot Easterly winds prevented paramedics from boarding the ship.

“NSRI Durban, NSRI Port Elizabeth, NSRI ASR, the TNPA Port Helicopter and both the SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron and 15 Squadron Charlie Flight [Durban and Port Elizabeth] remained on alert throughout the night in the event weather and sea conditions subsided to allow for a helicopter rescue effort.

“Medical kit was able to be transferred aboard the vessel during the night and NSRI East London made ready again at 05h00 on Thursday morning, despite a wind direction change to Westerly winds gusting to 40 knots, to attempt to board the ship at sea but prior to launching it was confirmed that sadly the patient succumbed to his injuries and passed away during the early hours of the morning.” source: NSRI East London


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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

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tugs in MSC Ines at DCT berh 203, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Tugs on MSC Ines (top) and Seamax Darien at Durban Container Terminal North Quay yesterday.  Pictures by Keith Betts
Tugs on MSC Ines (top) and Seamax Darien at Durban Container Terminal North Quay yesterday. Pictures by Keith Betts

Taking no chances! On Thursday this week the Port of Durban was buffeted by strong gusting winds from the southwest, peaking at between 40 and 50 knots and, following the freak storm of little over a week earlier, the marine department at the port was understandably taking no chances. With the port closed to marine traffic, the fleet of tugs was quickly put to work securing ships considered vulnerable at their moorings. Two such ships were the container vessels MSC INES (114,732-dwt, built 2006), which was the cause of great concern last Tuesday (10 October) when she broke her mooring and was blown into the open waters of the bay, colliding with one or two vessels along the way before being blown along like a sailboat into the harbour entrance channel where she broached sideways and went aground, blocking the channel. No less than five tugs were required to get her free and back to a safe mooring. Since then the ship, with damage to her rudder and other areas, has been moved back to the container terminal, berth 203, where the cargo if being discharged prior to repairs being undertaken.

The other ship is SEAMAX DARIEN (105,386-dwt, built 2003), a former OOCL ship, seen here at berth 204. Each ship has two tugs helping hold them in position against the wind. The North Quay consisting of berths 203, 204 and 205 lies exposed to a southwest wind, in particular the notorious ‘buster’, as is berth 108 on the cross berth which is from where MSC Ines was blown off her mooring last week. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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