Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 29 April 2019

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Eagle Matsuyama Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Eagle Matsuyama          Picture: Keith Betts

The oil products tanker EAGLE MATSUYAMA (IMO 9459254) enters Durban at the end of March, heading for a berth at Island View. The 45,942-dwt handysize tanker was built in 2010 and is owned by Japanese interests and managed by V SHIPS ASIA GROUP PTE LTD also of Singapore. This picture is by Keith Betts


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Cape Town welcome for NSRI's first new search & rescue craft, Alick Rennie which is going to Station 5 at Durban. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The official welcoming party of the National Sea Rescue Institute’s new class of Search and Rescue vessel took place at Quay 4 in the Cape Town V&A waterfront on Saturday 27 April 2019.

About 400 guests were on hand to join the Sea Rescue team in celebrating the new highly sophisticated rescue vessels inclusion in the volunteer organisation’s Search and Rescue fleet.

The NSRI is currently the only maritime rescue service operating in South African territorial waters and, although most rescues are coastal and inshore, an increasing number of these operations require search and rescue vessels with advanced capability in technology, and the ability to safely increase the endurance of the crew further out to sea.

The fleet of 10m and 12m rescue vessels (known as Class 1 rescue vessels) are ready to be retired. The NSRI’s commitment to its volunteer crew is to provide top class rescue boats that are suited to the severe conditions in which it operates.

“The safety of our rescue crew and the people who we rescue is our priority,” said NSRI Spokesman Craig Lambinon.

He said that the NSRI therefore needs to replace the current Class 1 rescue boats with craft that are well suited to the Search and Rescue missions including deep sea operations, medical evacuations and mass rescue incidents. “The vessel that we have chosen to fulfil this role is the 14m SAR (Search and Rescue) ORC.”

After extensive research and development, the decision was made to have the first vessel, a 14m SAR ORC vessel that has been named ALICK RENNIE, built to completion in France and the second vessel, the DONNA NICHOLAS built as a hull, deck and bulkheads in France, to be completed locally in South Africa.

Both vessels were designed by naval architects Pantocarene and manufactured by Bernard Shipyard in France.

Alick Rennie on the water in Cape Town harbour before sailing  today (Sunday 28 April) for Durban. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

After a 2 year long build project, they were successfully delivered in Cape Town at no charge by the NSRI’s local partner, Safmarine on 28 March 2019.

“It is our vision to support local people and local industries by having our rescue boats built in South Africa,” says NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson.

“We are very proud to announce that Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing will partner with the NSRI to build the future generation of deep sea search and rescue fleet in Cape Town,” he said.

“Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing has always been a proud supporter of the NSRI,” said Mark Delany, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing’s Managing Director. “We are excited to partner with the NSRI in building the new fleet of Search and Rescue vessels.

“Not only does this support an organisation which provides an invaluable service to all South Africans who use the sea, but also, by building these vessels in South Africa, this project supports local industry and job creation. Furthermore, the project will develop skills in the boat building industry, most notably the specialisation of composite offshore search and rescue craft building.”

The SAR ORC Alick Rennie has the latest electronic navigation and communication equipment and is self-righting, which will give increased safety for crew and those who the NSRI rescues. Building the new generation of ORC vessels however comes at quite a price.

Many of the NSRI supporters have bought into this long-term vision and have contributed towards the capital investment. The funding is ring-fenced and accrues interest in a project account. The new fleet of 14m vessels will enable the NSRI to extend its range and survivor carrying capacity but also means that there is a need to modify the boatsheds to accommodate them.

The Alick Rennie is destined for Sea Rescue’s Station 5 in Durban and will depart Cape Town today (28 April 2019).

“We would welcome as much new support as we can,” says Lambinon, “so please contact Alison Smith, our Fundraising Manager – if you would like to get involved in helping to fund our next generation of Sea Rescue SAR vessels.”

Alick Rennie S&R vessel for the NSRI in Durban station 5. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online



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One of the new AgustaWestland helicopters due to enter service at Durban and Richards Bay. Picture: Leonardo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
One of the new AgustaWestland helicopters due to enter service at Durban and Richards Bay. Picture: Leonardo

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) recently held a signing ceremony with Italian company Leonardo for acceptance of two new helicopters to service the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

The two aircraft replace two earlier models of the same type already in service with the South African port authority.

The AgustaWestland (AW 109SP) helicopters, valued at around R250 million, were manufactured at the Leonardo plant in Vergiate, Italy, and they are expected to be delivered to TNPA in South Africa by June 2019.

Leading the TNPA delegation at the signing ceremony held in Italy on 17 April 2019 was TNPA’s Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe, who signed acceptance on behalf of TNPA alongside Leonardo’s Head of Macro Region – Africa & Middle-East, Gianfranco Sottotetti.

One of the earlier versions (Feb 2010) of the AgustaWestland 109 helicopters which is based at Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
One of the earlier versions (Feb 2010) of the AgustaWestland 109 helicopters which is based at Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson

Mdawe said the two new helicopters would help TNPA to improve ship turnaround times and the overall reliability of its marine service at the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

“This in turn will have benefits for our customers, the shipping lines and the global competitiveness of our ports,” she said.

“As TNPA, we are delighted that we are now so close to being in a position to respond to long-time industry calls for a more efficient and reliable marine pilot service in our Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

“These are presently the only ports in our complementary port system which use helicopters to transfer marine pilots onto and off visiting vessels. We are, however, looking to offer the service at our Port of Cape Town as well, to counter weather related disruptions there, where major swells impact on the availability of service during stormy conditions,” she said.

South Africa pioneered the concept of transferring marine pilots to and from vessels by helicopter and is understood to be one of only three countries in the world that offer the service.

TNPA has an existing fleet of three AW109 helicopters that are reaching the end of their life cycle. The procurement of the two new helicopters forms part of TNPA’s fleet renewal programme.

The AW109SP is a modern top-of-the-range light twin-engine helicopter with excellent operational flexibility as well as high safety levels through advanced navigation and situational awareness technology. The two new AW109 SP’s are equipped with a Harbour Pilot Shuttle Kit, which features a hoist that enables this distinctive operation, as well as several other installations unique to Transnet’s aircraft.

The contract for the new helicopters includes a 25% supplier development obligation by the global supplier to ensure that the contract creates socio-economic benefits within South Africa. These would include job creation, skills development and where possible use of local, empowered companies and local materials or parts.


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Cyclone Kenneth making landfall over northern Mozambique, southern Tanzania, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Cyclone Kenneth making landfall over northern Mozambique, southern Tanzania

Authorities in northern Mozambique have been scrambling to evacuate thousands of residents in low-lying regions of coastland in northern Mozambique ahead of last night’s arrival of Cyclone Kenneth, a category 4 cyclone said in advance to be the equal or even more powerful than Cyclone Idai which devastated large expanses around the port city of Beira in March this year.

For various reasons however the damage arising from the latest cyclone may prove to be not as bad as it was for Idai. One of these is that Idai developed initially overland and a significantly large amount of rain fell before the storm re-emerged from over the sea with strength re-gathered and now a fully fledged cyclone that then roared back to the land further south.

Kenneth on the other hand has come directly from the sea.

As it made landfall last night and the region braced for the unwelcome visitor, winds of 220 kph (140 mph) were being recorded.

According to the Mozambique National Institute of Disaster Management it has provided shelters ahead of what it described as “compulsory evacuation” of families to the shelters.

shelters provided for eveacuatedpeople in northern Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Forecasters at Meteo-France have issued warnings that Kenneth could trigger waves off Mozambique’s northeastern shore as much as five metres higher than usual.

“Residents along the Mozambique/Tanzania border should make preparations for storm surge along the coasts, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds,” NASA warned.

Early reports from Pemba state that some parts of the town are in darkness with strong winds bringing down trees and destroying boats. Unlike in Beira, most of the town of Pemba is built well above sea level and is situated on a bluff that separates Pemba Bay from the open sea. The large open area of the bay is susceptible to the storm however, as are lodges on the sea-facing shore below the town.

Aerial view of the town of Pemba, with the large expanse of deep water bay on the far side. Picture by Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Aerial view of the town of Pemba, with the large expanse of deep water bay on the far side. Picture by Terry Hutson

In addition to the dangerous winds and storm surge, Kenneth is bringing torrential rainfall from which significant flooding will occur. More than 20 inches of rain is projected over the next four days — roughly four times the average monthly rainfall for the region where a semi drought has been in existence.

Kenneth developed into a tropical storm and strengthened rapidly on Wednesday and continued to intensify during Thursday ahead of crossing the coast. Although cyclones begin weakening once overland they bring heavy rain and very strong winds that cause most of the damage and loss of life.

It is expected the Cyclone Kenneth will follow a common path and ‘linger’ for a while in the close area where it has come ashore, before tracking possibly southwards. If it follows this prediction the storm may return over the sea where it could regrow its strength.

In Tanzania, authorities in the southern port town of Mtwara have taken precautionary measures ahead of the storm coming ashore. Mtwara was expecting to receive some of the brunt of Cyclone Kenneth which has no regard for boundaries of borders.

Updates of this tropical cyclone will be shown here as news becomes available.


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Cyclone Kenneth developed over this ocean in the northern regions of the Mozambique Channel before heading towards a landfall over north Mozambique. En route it passed close overhead of Comoros island group. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Cyclone Kenneth developed over this ocean in the northern regions of the Mozambique Channel before heading towards a landfall over north Mozambique. En route it passed close overhead of Comoros island group

Report by Climate Signals*

Category 4 Cyclone Kenneth made landfall last night (Thursday evening) in Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique making it is the strongest recorded cyclone to make landfall in Africa.

The superstorm comes on the heels of Cyclone Idai, which devastated parts of Mozambique in March. The northern part of the country is now at risk of extreme rainfall, flooding, and mudslides over several days.

Climate change affects hurricane activity and amplifies damages done in three major ways:

Increasing rainfall:

Unusually warm seas (up to 4°F higher than normal) and a warmer atmosphere are expected to help supercharge the deluge delivered by Kenneth, providing a year’s worth of rain (30-60 inches) in just days.
Global warming is increasing water vapor in the air, which in turn is fueling extreme rainfall, increasing the threat of flooding.
Kenneth is expected to stall for several days. This stalling is consistent with the long-term trend of increasing stalling of tropical cyclones that has been observed worldwide and attributed to climate change.
These conditions parallel the set up for Hurricane Harvey, which delivered the record-breaking rainfall that devastated Southeast Texas.

Extending storm surge:

Global warming is driving up sea level, which greatly extends the reach of storms along low-lying areas.
Coastal communities are at risk, as the most important impact of tropical cyclones in coastal regions is storm surge. Forty-percent of Mozambique’s population lives in coastal districts.
In the United States from 1963 to 2012, 88 percent of storm-related fatalities occurred in water-related incidents; storm surge caused 49 percent and freshwater floods due to heavy rainfall caused 27 percent.
Globally, storm surge kills an average of 13,000 people each year.

Increasing wind speed:

Global warming is heating up sea surface temperatures, which in turn raises the maximum potential energy a storm can reach.
Sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean of 86°(F) helped fuel the storm’s intensity. Warming seas are a signal of climate change.

Did climate change play a role in the back-to-back occurrence of catastrophic tropical cyclones in the Southwest Indian Ocean?

Research to date does not show an increase in the frequency of tropical cyclone landfalls over the south-west Indian Ocean and future projections are not clear. But with two cyclones occurring back-to-back, we may be seeing a new signal emerge. [and another two likewise back-to-back in the mid-Indian Ocean.]

Kevin Trenberth, NCAR Distinguished Senior Scientist said: “Well above normal sea surface temperatures have been over 30°C (86°F) in the subtropics of the Indian Ocean and have helped fuel tropical cyclones. Six weeks or so after the devastating Idai flooding, now Kenneth made landfall in Mozambique somewhat farther north, but with potential for a lot more damage. Global warming from human activities contributes, and feeds into the perhaps odd seasonality of tropical cyclones in the southern Indian Ocean, where the summer monsoon prejudices against such events in the peak warm season.”

source: courtesy Climate Signals CLICK HERE

What is Climate Signals?*

Climate Signals is a science tool that identifies and illustrates what climate change looks like on the ground, in your region, state, or neighborhood and specifies the long-term climate trends and physical processes at work. It is a digital science platform for cataloging and mapping the impacts of climate change. Currently in open-beta release, the platform is designed to identify the chain of connections between greenhouse gas emissions and individual climate events.
Climate Signals consists of a curated relational database of events and their links to climate change, an event mapping engine, a searchable database of science reports, and a searchable gallery of climate change monitors relaying real-time data.
For each event in the database, an infographic engine provides a custom “signal tree” that illustrates the connections to climate change. The system of attribution used to link events to climate change is explained here. In addition, key resources are aggregated and curated for each event.
This open-beta release is offered for public user testing and engagement. Comments and feedback are invited and can be submitted by CLICKING HERE


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EU NAVFOR naval forces recapturing dhow from pirates, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
EU NAVFOR naval forces recapturing dhow from pirates. Note the skiff alongside.  Picture: EU NAVFOR

On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia, reports EU NAVFOR.

The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, thanks to the application of Best Management Practices (BMP) protection measures by the masters, the crews and the private security teams embarked on both fishing vessels.

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta confirms these attacks. It is likely that the attacks were facilitated by a mothership, which was reportedly seized by armed men on 19 April off the central Somali Coast.

EU NAVFOR subsequently dispatched its Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft…[restrict] to search the area. In addition, EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS NAVARRA left the port in Mombasa in order to proceed into the area.

On 23 April, ESPS NAVARA successfully intercepted and boarded the dhow being used as a mothership.

The operation is still ongoing, and more details will be provided upon completion.

EU NAVFOR says it remains committed to deterring, preventing and suppressing piracy and emphasises that the Maritime Industry must adhere to BMP measures in order to maximise the safety of the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area. EUNAVFOR

Early on 23 April, EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta successfully responded to a piracy incident that transpired over the course of the four previous days.

The incident began on 19 April, when five pirates captured a Yemeni dhow off the coast of Somalia. The pirates proceeded to navigate the dhow along the coast, where they visited a pirate basecamp and reinforced their crew with additional members.

Two days later on 21 April the pirates, with the dhow acting as a mothership in the Indian Ocean some 280 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, attacked the Korean fishing vessel ADRIA.

FV Adria commenced evasive manoeuvres and increased her speed. The Spanish Fishing Vessel TXORI ARGI was operating in the vicinity and proceeded to assist the FV Adria as she continued to be chased by the skiffs.

After approximately one hour, both vessels were approached by the skiffs and fired upon with what was believed to be a rocket propelled grenade. The Private Armed Security Teams (PAST) on board the FV Adria and the FV Txori Argi responded, and the skiffs retreated.

That same day, another fishing vessel, FV SHIN SHUEN FAR 889, also reported having been approached by two skiffs, which both retreated when the PAST on board revealed their weapons.

EU NAVFOR meanwhile dispatched its Maritime Patrol aircraft (MPRAs) and conducted a search in the area, resulting in identifying the mothership. On 23 April, in collaboration with its MPRAs, EU NAVFOR’s flagship ESPS NAVARRA successfully intercepted and boarded the captured dhow vessel.

EU NAVFOR apprehended five suspected pirates, and the 23 hostages aboard the hijacked FV Al AZHAM were released unharmed.

With the support of the PAST and EU NAVFOR’s various active assets in the region—including the frigate ESPS NAVARRA and MPRAs German JESTER and Spanish CISNE, Operation Atalanta was able to control the situation and prevent any further imminent attacks.

This incident is the first notable piracy event since October of last year. The Force Headquarters (FHQ) piloted the operation under the command of the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Rota, just three weeks after the operation hand over from Northwood, United Kingdom.

” This incident clearly demonstrates that piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated,” said Operation Commander Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell.

“The need for a strong maritime security presence in the High-Risk Area remains critical for the deterrence and prevention of future incidents and attacks.”

EU NAVFOR said it urges the maritime industry to remain vigilant across the High-Risk Area and to comply with recommended Best Management Practises, as supported by the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa located in Brest. source: EU NAVFOR[/restrict]


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Location of proposed Techobanine deepwater port south of Maputo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Location of proposed deepwater port south of Maputo

Speaking in Beijing this week, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi declared that despite the projected construction of the Techobanine railway and port was being undertaken by the private sector, the Mozambican government nevertheless ‘cherished’ it.

President Nyusi said on Tuesday that he believed the project would be an asset for the country, as it would bring to fruition the Chibuto heavy sands exploration project.

The project is being spearheaded by the…[restrict] Joaquim Chissano foundation and the Muiake company, in coordination with the China Railway International Group. Leonardo Simão, Executive Director of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Muiake, is in Beijing for contacts with his Chinese counterpart.

Simão said that, in terms of financing for the execution of the works, he was guaranteed an initial amount estimated at US$2.9 billion dollars.

Tranquil scene at techobanine, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Tranquil scene at techobanine

This is a structuring project, which can also make feasible the exploitation of heavy sands in the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane.

The infrastructure project will make feasible the exploitation of heavy sands in Gaza and Inhambane provinces, contributing to development both locally and of the country in general, Simão said.

The projected Techobanine port will be built south of Maputo and connected to the capital by rail. The project under consideration at this stage envisages hauling coal from Botswana to the port for export. Coal trains would travel from Botswana via Zimbabwe into Mozambique and then to the new port which would be able to cater for Capesize vessels. source: Rádio Moçambique and AP&S[/restrict]


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The tanker APECUS photographed by Mike Griffiths, courtesy of Shipspotting, while operating previously with the name LACHS. The tanker was built in 1973., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The tanker APECUS photographed by Mike Griffiths, courtesy of Shipspotting, while operating previously with the name LACHS. The tanker was built in 1973

Reports from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre confirmed last night (Wednesday) that six crew members have been abducted by force from an anchored tanker off the coast of Bonny Island in Nigeria.

The attack took place on Friday 19 April at around 14h30 local time.

The 3,075-dwt tanker APECUS was at anchor at the time. In similar circumstances to another attack on a tanker of a week before, the armed pirates made…[restrict] their way on board and after ransacking parts of the vessel, they departed taking six of the crew with them as hostages, probably for ransoming purposes.

The remaining crew were reported as safe and still on board the vessel. The Nigerian Navy was notified and responded and an investigation is underway, but the pirates have escaped with their hostages.

On Monday, 15 April in position 04:28.1N 007:10.1E at 20h20 UTC, pirates attacked another tanker in the Bonny River outer anchorage, firing their weapons at the ship’s accommodation. The ship’s crew retired to the citadel while a fire-fight developed between on-board Nigerian Navy guards, who forced the pirates to return to their speedboat and make their escape. One guard was injured in the attack and was later taken ashore for treatment.

So far this year in the first three months the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported 14 incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The latest two fall into the second quarter of the year and are not included in the 14, so don’t believe other reports saying that piracy in the region is lessening. The actual numbers may be down but the attacks are still happening and ships and crews are at risk.[/restrict] 

For our report on the other Bonny River attack on 15 April CLICK HERE


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The Port of Durban has been badly affected by the large volume of waste and vegetation flowing into port waters after the recent heavy rains and flooding, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The Port of Durban has been badly affected by the large volume of waste and vegetation flowing into port waters after the recent heavy rains and flooding

A major clean-up is underway at the port of Durban following this week’s heavy rains that resulted in flooding across the city and region. Tons of rubbish has entered the bay from rivers and drains that empty their contents into the harbour.

In addition over 60 people are now known to have died as a result of the storm.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which has the landlord role at the port has initiated the clean-up action involving several outside contractors in additiion to some of its own staff.

The task is to remove the many tons of rubbish, consisting of waste material and vegetation from the port.

Clean-up teams are working hard to clear the debris. That's SAS Durban on the right, at the Maritime Museum, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Clean-up teams are working hard to clear the debris. That’s SAS Durban on the right, at the Maritime Museum

Ironically, the adverse weather caused the usual deluge of plastic and other debris to flow into the port, leaving behind an unsightly scene just days after World Earth Day was observed globally on 22 April.

Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane, said all Transnet Operating Divisions were carrying out assessments to establish the full extent of damage caused by the storm.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent heavy rains and flooding. We would also like to appeal to the public to please help curb plastic pollution as this causes huge problems when the debris flows into the harbour,” she said.

She said the port’s pollution control teams were on site tackling the debris within port waters, aided by clean-up teams from SpillTech, Drizit and ZMK Enterprises. Progress is slow due to the sheer volume of material that still continues to wash in.

clean-up operations underway on Durban Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Clean-up operations underway on Durban Bay

The debris included large logs that posed a threat to the safe navigation of the harbour craft which are used to guide vessels safely in and around the port. The port has been fully operational however, the ingress of waste impacted on vessel movements and as of midday on Wednesday three vessels were unable to berth or sail in the Maydon Wharf precinct, Nkowane confirmed.

“The combined catchment area of the rivers, canals and storm-water drainage systems that drain into the port is over 200km2 in size. The unfortunate reality is the port waters are on the receiving end of the large volume of litter, effluent and sewage that is discharged into the storm-water reticulation system within the catchment,” said Nkowane.

“We must all take responsibility for the well-being of the ocean and coastal environment, and as TNPA we want to help create awareness and promote sustainable practices for the benefit of present and future generations,” she said.

TNPA said it has been in regular engagements with the eThekwini (Durban) Municipality regarding the interventions required to address the ingress of waste and effluent into the port from the municipal stormwater network which drains a significant portion of the Durban metropolitan area.

cleaning up after the big easter storm over Durban Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The port’s pollution control department shared the following tips for the public to help in tackling the massive plastic problem:

* Avoid single-use plastic, which is any plastic item used only once, such as plastic straws and plastic packaging. Plastic is a material that lasts for hundreds of years, yet is often used for only a short time before it is discarded.
* Get into the habit of recycling and avoid throwing away recyclable items as part of your normal weekly refuse disposal. Items that can and should be recycled include glass, cardboard and paper, tin and aluminium cans (for example from canned food and cool drink), certain plastics such as bottles for drinks and cleaning products. Items should be rinsed before being put into a recycling bin.
* Get involved in clean-ups, such as those arranged by #CleanBlueLagoon, KZN Beach Clean Up and Durban Bay Cleanup.
* Observe environmental days such as World Earth Day on 22 April (held under the theme ‘End Plastic Pollution’ in 2018), National Marine Week in the second week of October (under the theme ‘Plastic is Drastic’ in 2018) and World Environment Day on 5 June (under the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution” in 2018).
* Support organisations such as Durban Green Corridors, Durban Partnership against Plastic Pollution (D-PAPP) and Greenpeace Africa which help to fight plastic and other pollution.


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Cyclone Kenneth to come ashore as Red Alert is sounded in Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, image The Weather Channel
Image: The Weather Channel

The Mozambican government’s Disaster Management Coordinating Council (CCGC), meeting in extraordinary session in Maputo yesterday (Wednesday), decreed a Red Alert, the highest state of disaster readiness, in light of the approach of Cyclone Kenneth to the northern Mozambican coast, reports AIM.

The cyclone formed in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar, about three days ago. By yesterday it was approaching the Comoros, and is projected to continue heading west, making landfall on the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado on Thursday evening (tonight, 25 April 2019).

UPDATE: At midnight Wednesday Kenneth was situated near 11.4S 42.3, approximately 44 nautical miles northwest of Comoros island.

Further update: (18h00 local time) – As Cyclone Kenneth begins to come ashore between Mocimboa da Praia and Pemba the storm has been reclassified as Category 4 – the same strength cyclone as for Idai which struck the Beira region in mid March.  Further updates to follow….

The southern region of Tanzania including the port of Mtwara is under the same danger.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) Kenneth is currently moving at a speed of 6 knots. The cyclone is generating sustained winds of 115 knots, peaking at 140 knots. Within the next day, the strength of the cyclone should begin to weaken as it crosses over land, but should the storm track southward it may reenter the Mozambique Channel and regain its intensity, much as did the previous cylone Idai earlier in March.

Maita calls for “use of all possible means to save lives”

The general director of the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), Augusta Maita, proposed the declaration of a red alert to the CCGC.

She called for urgent preventive measures and the use of all possible means to save lives. “We have been coordinating with the provincial governments for the past two days, and our main concern right now is to see that what we have requested is available on the ground. We have been assured that safe places where families can take refuge are being identified.”

Search and Rescue equipment redirected from Sofala to Cabo Delgado

Maita said resources that had been allocated to the central province of Sofala, where cyclone Idai struck on 14 March, are now being redirected to Cabo Delgado.

This was particularly the case with search and rescue equipment. “It no longer makes sense for some of these resources to remain in Sofala to deal with the Idai situation,” she said. “By the end of this afternoon, we shall have a helicopter positioned in Cabo Delgado. We shall step up these resources, as soon as we have a clear indication of what the direct impact will be.”

692,000 people at risk

Based on estimates made by the National Meteorology Institute (INAM), and by the National Directorate of Water Resources, Maita put the number of people potentially at risk in Cabo Delgado province and in the neighbouring province of Nampula, at 692,000.

$1.54 million US for humanitarian assistance

“We have made a preliminary survey of the food and non-food humanitarian assistance requirements, and they are estimated to cost around 100 million meticais (about 1.54 million US dollars),” said Maita. The amount required could increase, depending on the cyclone’s impact.

INAM has issued an alert for shipping in the Mozambique Channel, warning of strong winds, heavy rain, and waves up to seven metres high.

LAM cancels Maputo-Pemba flights

LAM announced yesterday that its has cancelled all flights between Maputo and Pemba until further notice, as a result of the cyclone. Passengers affected by the decision are being contacted and will be transported on the first flights once the situation normalises.
sources: AIM & O Pais


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Cyclone Kenneth's path across Mozambique Channel to where she comes ashore in Mozambique today, featured in Africa POIRTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Cyclone Kenneth’s path across Mozambique Channel to where she comes ashore in Mozambique today.  Map courtesy ERCC

At 15h00 on Wednesday 24 April Cyclone Kenneth was situated near position 11.2S 43.9E, approximately 73 nautical miles east-northeast of Comoros Island in the Mozambique Channel.

The cyclone had tracked westward at 13 knots over the previous six hours and had a wind intensity of 75 knots gusting to 90 knots. With warm seas of between 29-30 degrees Celsius the wind intensity is expected to increase to 100 knots by between 03h00 and 06h00 Thursday.

Immediately prior to making landfall over northern Mozambique the cyclone may weaken slightly and further weaken following landfall. Significant wave height was reported as 27 feet.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warns that there is significant risk of flash and river flooding where heavy rainfall occurs when the storm reaches the Mozambique coast. Winds are likely to be strong enough to cause destruction.

Situation overview

On 23 April, Tropical Cyclone Kenneth formed north of Madagascar and east of the Aldabra Atoll, north of the Mozambique Channel. Its path passed over the northern tip of the Comoros islands on 24 April and is continuing onward to northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania. It is expected to make landfall in the district of Pemba in Mozambique on 25 April.

The Pacific Disaster Centre expects a rapid intensification of the cyclone over the next 36 hours. After making landfall it is expected to rapidly weaken and eventually dissipate. Many areas along the cyclone’s path could see significant rainfall, and there is a high risk of flash and river flooding where heavy rainfall occurs, as well as of storm surge in coastal areas. Winds are likely to be strong enough to cause damage or destruction.

The Global Disaster Alert Coordination System (GDACS) has issued an orange alert for the Cyclone, meaning a medium humanitarian impact is expected based on the storm strength and its forecasted path. According to UNOSAT, the entire population of Comoros (758,339) lay within the Cyclone’s windspeed zones, with Grand Comore the primary concern.

In Mozambique, more than 747,000 people are living within the Cyclone’s path, mainly in Cabo Delgado Province, including a projected 117,000 living in high wind speed zones (Mozambique authorities report slightly less, 692,000).

Third satellite-era system to evolve in north of Mozambique Channel

Tropical Cyclone Kenneth is expected to become only the third satellite-era system to evolve to a moderate tropical storm stage or higher in the area north of the Mozambique Channel, according to Meteo France. The other two systems concerned, Elinah in 1983 and Doloresse in 1996, did not reach the African coast.

Tropical Cyclone Kenneth therefore threatens an area where the population is not used to cyclones.

Preparedness – Comoros

In the Comoros, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile (DGSC) triggered a yellow cyclone alert on 23 April, in accordance with the national procedures that were adopted in 2010. The expectation is that northern Comoros will be hit, and other islands will experience rain gusts, possibly resulting in health, education and food security challenges.

In Mozambique, the National Directorate of Water Resources has recommended that people living in areas at risk of flooding and landslides move to safe elevated areas, and informed that the water basins of Rovuma, Messalo, Montepuëz, Megaruma and Lūrio may rapidly increase, with the risk of overflowing, possibly affecting more than 70,000 people.

Ports of Pemba, Nacala Porto & Nacala-a-Velha

Port of Pemba in Mozambique, where cyclone Kenneth may land later today, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS online
Port of Pemba in northern Mozambique

There is a moderate to high risk of floods and erosion in the cities of Pemba, Nacala Porto and Nacala-A-Velha, possibly affecting 10,000 people. There are also concerns that Chipembe dam could be affected.


In Tanzania, an increase in cloud formation is already being witnessed, and an increase of rain is expected in Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Pemba, Lindi and Mtwara regions, the south coast of Tanzania and around Lake Victoria. Strong winds are expected along the coast. People have been urged to follow the national TV weather broadcast as it provides advice on actions to be taken in real time.


In Malawi, the Government has issued a statement saying it expects enhanced rainfall throughout the country and in particular along the lakeshore. sources: JTWC & UNOCHA

See Red Alert Sounded report also in this edition.


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Cyclones Kenneth 24S and Lorna 25S are currently in the Indian Ocean, with Lorna out in mid ocean and posing no threat to land. Picture: JTWC, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Cyclones Kenneth 24S and Lorna 25S are currently in the Indian Ocean, with Lorna out in mid ocean and posing no threat to land. Picture: JTWC

A second Indian Ocean cyclone currently making its presence felt has been officially classified as a cyclone and named Cyclone Lorna 25S (formerly storm system 91S).

Currently positioned near position 10.9S 84.6E, the cyclone is located approximately 743 nautical miles southeast of Diego Garcia.

The cyclone has been tracking east-southeast at…[restrict] 6 knots with a wind intensity averaging 40 knots.

This is expected to intensify to 75 knots within the next 60-72 hours.

Wave height is recorded at 16 feet. The cyclone is generally over open water with no major land or islands in its path.[/restrict]


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Gansbaai fishing harbour, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Gansbaai fishing harbour

All players in the fishing industry have been urged to come to the party to ensure that the sector’s transformation agenda is realised during the 2020 Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP2020).

“Substantive transformation in the fishing industry still remains a challenge and it needs all of us to work together to achieve such needed transformation in this sector,” said Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Minister, Senzeni Zokwana.

“When we talk transformation in the fishing industry, we need to be…[restrict] honest in our discussions in order for government to adequately deliver and achieve on this imperative.”

Zokwana was speaking at the launch of 2020 Fishing Rights Allocation Process held in Somerset West, Western Cape, which DAFF is currently hosting.

DAFF minister Senzeni Zokwana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
DAFF minister Senzeni Zokwana

The two-day seminar on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, aims to stimulate discussions on broadening participation in the fishing industry in an equitable and fair manner. The seminar presented the 2020 draft General Policy on the Allocation of Fishing Rights.

Zokwana challenged big and established commercial companies within the fishing industry not only to embrace transformation, but to lead it.


He also invited those that have resources at their disposal to come forward with workable suggestions on how they can achieve substantive transformation in the sector without collapsing and jeopardising businesses and investments already made in the sector.

The participation by coastal communities cannot be ignored any further, 25 years down the line in the country’s democracy, he said.

“These communities cannot and should not be reduced into labour only. They have experience and many of them are fourth, fifth and sixth generation of fishing families and have learnt the art of fishing from their preceding family generations. These communities must be assisted by both government and industry to ensure the success of the small scale fisheries policy implementation.

“It is for this reason we have begun with speed the building of small scale fisheries sector through coastal community’s cooperatives. We have trained them on business management and we seek industry’s buy in through availing continuous mentorship and capital investments so that they grow.

“Small scale fisheries will play a critical role in addressing food security and unemployment,” Zokwana said.[/restrict]


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Presidents Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana (left), Hage Geingob of Namibia (centre) and Namport's outgoing CEO, Bisey /Uirab, featured in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Presidents Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana (left), Hage Geingob of Namibia (centre) and Namport’s outgoing CEO, Bisey /Uirab

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) yesterday (Wednesday) welcomed the presidents of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi on a visit to the ports authority. Accompanying Dr Masisi was Namibia’s president, Dr Hage Geingob.

They were greeted by the outgoing Namport CEO, Mr Bisey /Uirab who pointed out that Namport does not only serve Namibia as the main port but it also serves surrounding landlocked countries such as…[restrict] Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It is in this respect, Mr /Uirab said, that the Namibian Ports Authority allocated dry port facilities to these three countries in order to encourage inter-continental trading.

/Uirab encouraged the government of Botswana to “increase volumes that go through the port to make this relationship most beneficial.”

President Geingob said that he is pleased with the progress made by the ports authority in developing its infrastructure and called on Namport to continue being a voice to be reckoned with in the world of ports.

On his part, Dr Masisi urged the Namibian government through Namport “to make use of the trading opportunities that present themselves.”

Namport is currently in the final stages of completing its new state of the art container handling facility valued at over four billion Namibian Dollars (R4bn), making this investment one of the single biggest the country has ever engaged in since independence.

The New Container Terminal is expected to be officially commissioned later this year.[/restrict]


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ONE container ship, featured in article about Digitalisation association formed by 4 shipping companies, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

It was announced on 18 April from Singapore by Ocean Network Express (ONE) that A P Moller-Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express had established the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) in The Netherlands.

After gaining regulatory approval from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) last month (March), four container shipping companies officially established the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) on 12 April 2019 with HQ in Amsterdam and the association is now commencing operations.

Thomas Bagge has been appointed as CEO

In the words of Noriaki Yamaga, Managing Director, Corporate & Innovation, Ocean Network Express (see illustration here of an example of ONE’s tonnage): “ONE is constantly seeking best practices and standards to…[restrict] support and drive innovation technology in the shipping and logistics industry to create valuable opportunities for digital transformation.

“To realize these goals, concrete discussion and solid collaboration works must be done in order to standardise solutions, establish common IT standards and governance for the industry to streamline and digitize shipping process to shape the future of the shipping industry.

“We truly believe that the establishment of this association will bring values, benefits and opportunities to our customers, as well as logistics companies, leading shipping and logistics industry to new ecosystem of digital supply chain.”

Digital standards are priority

On inauguration it is understood that the association immediately started working driving standardization, digitalization and interoperability. To create value and to overcome some of the potential difficulties in the industry, one of the first projects is to focus on standards to overcome the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data.

Additionally, to develop another cornerstone for the foundation of the future of shipping, the association is creating an industry blueprint for processes. Work undertaken will be for the benefit of the entire industry, as all standards will be openly published, making them available free of charge to interested external parties.

Thomas Bagge appointed CEO

Thomas Bagge is appointed CEO and statutory director of the DCSA. Joining from Maersk Thomas Bagge has held several leadership roles in Denmark and abroad, most recently in technology.

“We are pleased to have with Thomas Bagge the first one of a strong leadership team in place, who is supported by all founding members and represents container shipping at its best,” said André Simha.

Headquarters in Amsterdam

The association’s headquarters will be located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Added Simha: “DCSA is working for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry, hence, it was important for us that the headquarters is located on neutral grounds, so no specific stakeholders or companies are favoured.”

Proximity to shipping infrastructure, attractiveness for talent as well as ease of reach was a decisive point for selecting Amsterdam as location for the HQ.

New members joining

DCSA is in discussions with many other container shipping lines interested in joining and preparations for membership of two companies are in hand.

About Digital Container Shipping Association

This is a neutral and non-profit association whose purpose is to pave the way for digitalization and standardization in the industry. A P Moller-Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and ONE are founding members.

All ocean carriers are invited to join, and close collaboration with the entire industry is expected. The association has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform and the association is not working on topics of a commercial or competitive nature.

The Digital Container Shipping Association Leadership Team

Thomas Bagge CEO and Statutory Director. Over the past 12 years, Bagge has been involved in various transformation activities in Maersk covering people, process and technology. He holds a degree in Applied Finance from Copenhagen Business School as well as an Executive MBA. Aside from the role as CEO of DCSA, Thomas Bagge will retain a number of board positions in other organisations.

Andre Simha, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, DCSA, CIO, MSC. He joined MSC in 1987 and is responsible for implementing and developing the complex data flow between the company’s headquarters and its agencies worldwide; oversees over 1,000 staff globally, providing interactive software solutions for MSC, as well as steering MSC’s broader activities related to technology, innovation and digitalization. It is understood that he will retain his position at MSC.

Members of the DCSA Supervisory Board

MSC Group: André Simha, Chief Information Officer (Chairman)
A P Moller-Maersk: Adam Banks, Chief Technology & Information Officer
Hapag-Lloyd: Martin Gnass, Managing Director Information Technology
Ocean Network Express (ONE): Noriaki Yamaga, Managing Director, Corporate & Innovation.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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scenes on Durban Bay following Easter floods
scene on Durban Bay following floods earlier this week, this is from Wilson’s Wharf

The port of Durban has again been affected by disruptions to services following the heavy rain and storms that raged along the KZN coast from Monday 22 April.

Yesterday we reported how the port was affected by a heavy swell of between 4 and 6 metres running outside the port entrance channel, resulting in selective sailings only.

On Wednesday the port was reporting further delays caused this time by pollution in the bay. The port remained open but there were delays to vessel schedules as a result of the build-up of pollution clogging certain areas of the bay, including the tug basin.

Another area affected this way was Maydon Wharf and the Point area.

The pollution, consisting of huge quantities of plastic, bottles, boxes, timber, plant life, sugar cane, logs and even tree trunks are washed into the bay from three rivers that feed into Durban harbour, as well as about 50 storm water drains leading from the Congella, Umbilo, CBD and Point areas.

The wind blows these items of rubbish together where they form large expanses covered in litter that has to be manually cleared.

In a report from the deputy Harbour Master: Nautical at the port of Durban, Pinky Zungu, Transnet National Ports Authority is currently busy with the clean-up targeting the worst affected areas of Maydon Wharf and the tug jetty and Point area.

scene near the maritime museum and TNPA tug basin. Picture: Phillip Labuschagne featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
scene near the maritime museum and TNPA tug basin, SAS Durban at left. Picture: Phillip Labuschagne



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Coast Guardsmen assigned to USCGC Thetis (WMEC-910) approach a stranded fishing vessel to render assistance in the Gulf of Guinea on March 14, 2019. US Coast Guard picture, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Coast Guardsmen assigned to USCGC Thetis (WMEC-910) approach a stranded fishing vessel to render assistance in the Gulf of Guinea on March 14, 2019.     US Coast Guard picture

By: Ben Werner USNI News

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC-910) is halfway through a 90-day mission to Africa’s Atlantic coast and already the crew has helped enforce fishing rights, combat smuggling and piracy and rescue two fishermen who had been declared dead.

Operating off the coast of Africa is not the typical patrol route for a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, but the mission is the same, Cmdr. Randall Chong, commanding officer of Thetis, told USNI News during a recent satellite call from the ship. Thetis is assisting partner nations in better understanding the seas off their shores and helping secure their national interests while preventing regional problems from growing into more significant issues that could reach U.S. borders.

Last month off Sierra Leone

“Last month we were operating off the coast of Sierra Leone and one of my young lookouts, she saw a guy waiving, two guys waiving their life jackets,” Chong said. “They had no food, no water; they were actually starting to drink some sea water. We escorted them back to Sierra Leone and when we brought them back, we were told by their government they were declared dead two days before that.”

The scenario is relatively common among the fishing fleet, Chong said. Fishermen head out to sea on 22-foot boats, powered by old outboard motors and without navigation aids or communication links to shore. Sierra Leone also doesn’t have the resources to mount considerable search efforts at sea.

Adm. James G. Foggo III, right, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, speaks with Coast Guard Cmdr. Randall Chong, commanding officer of USCGC Thetis (WMEC-910), aboard the ship during Exercise Obangame Express 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria on March 21, 2019. US Navy picture, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Adm. James G. Foggo III, right, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, speaks with Coast Guard Cmdr. Randall Chong, commanding officer of USCGC Thetis (WMEC-910), aboard the ship during Exercise Obangame Express 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria on March 21, 2019. US Navy picture

Thetis, a 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter based in Key West, Fla., is made for finding small ships at sea. The cutter and crew specialize in maritime law enforcement operations such as counternarcotics and human smuggling missions. Their three-month deployment to Africa’s Gulf of Guinea region is intended to share their expertise with African maritime nations.

“The Coast Guard is a unique fit for this type of mission with our law enforcement authorities and our competencies,” Lt. David Zwirblis, operations officer on Thetis, told USNI News. “That’s really what these nations are looking for; they’re trying to secure their maritime domains. That’s what their navies are doing. Their economies are really intertwined with the maritime security of the region.”

To read the rest of this report in USNI News CLICK HERE


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Viking Sun, calling at South African ports for the first time this week, pictured in the Port of Cape Town on 18 April, with Table Mountain in the background. Next to her is the Silverseas ship Silver Whisper. Pictures: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Viking Sun, calling at South African ports for the first time this week, pictured on the left in the Port of Cape Town on 18 April, with Table Mountain in the background. Next to her is the Silverseas ship Silver Whisper. Pictures: TNPA

The cruise season has drawn to a magnificent close in both the Eastern and Western Cape with the state-of-the-art VIKING SUN calling at the Ports of East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town says Transnet National Ports Authority.

This was the vessel’s maiden voyage to the country and also the very first time that Viking Sun’s Switzerland-based owner Viking Ocean Cruises has ever included South Africa on its global itinerary.

Flying the flag of Norway, Viking Sun first arrived in Durban on Friday, 12 April. In East London on Monday, 15 April she was welcomed by the port’s management team and Harbour Master, Kgadi Matlala, who presented a plaque to the ship’s master, Captain Olav Soevdsnes.

While welcoming the ship, Cape Town Harbour Master Captain Alex Miya presented a plaque to the ship’s master, Captain Olav Soevdsnes., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
While welcoming the ship, Cape Town Harbour Master Captain Alex Miya presented a plaque to the ship’s master, Captain Olav Soevdsnes.

She then called at Port Elizabeth on 16 April and finally Cape Town on 18 April, where a plaque exchange ceremony and cultural show took place onboard the vessel. Among those welcoming the vessel on her inaugural call to Cape Town were Harbour Master Captain Alex Miya and Michael Thomas of the V&A Waterfront, which operates the port’s passenger terminal.

Cape Town had two passenger liners in port as its season ended, with Silversea Cruises’ SILVER WHISPER also berthed next to Viking Sun.

Cape Town Port Manager, Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, said: “As the Port of Cape Town we are proud to be attracting growing numbers of tourists to our beautiful city. Through the V&A Waterfront our port is developing a world-class passenger terminal that will continue to gain the attention of leading cruise line companies like Viking Ocean Cruises. We’re also honoured to be nominated once again in the World Travel Awards 2019 category of Africa’s Leading Cruise Port, alongside Durban, Port Elizabeth, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa and Zanzibar.”

Viking Sun has since ventured into the South Atlantic to explore Lüderitz and Walvis Bay, as well as several other ports along the West African coast.

Built in 2017, Viking Sun has a length of 227 metres and a beam of 28.8 metres, with a guest capacity of 930.

World’s Number 1 Cruise Line

Viking Ocean Cruises operates global ocean cruises with a fleet of six ocean ships and river cruises with a fleet of almost 60 Viking Longships.

The company announced back in September 2018 that it would be featuring South Africa heavily on its 128-day World Cruise from Miami to London, which includes 44 port calls in 21 countries on five continents.

As with all Viking itineraries, guests receive a complimentary shore excursion in each of the ports and free unlimited Wi-Fi.

In global travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards – which is the publication’s annual list of all the best airlines, hotels, and cruises in the travel industry – Viking Cruises was named the number one ocean cruise line for ships carrying up to 2000 guests and was also awarded the World’s Best River Cruise line title.


“During 2018/19 we once again enjoyed year-on-year growth with more global operators using our ports, resulting in economic spinoffs for tour operators, hotels, game reserves, lodges and tourist attractions in our port cities,” Moshe Motlohi, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) GM: Corporate Affairs and External Relations said.

“We’ve seen an increase in South Africans taking regular cruises, as well as increased numbers of international operators visiting South Africa. Confirmed cruises for the next few years are extremely promising and definitely something for us all to look forward to.”

Highlights of the 2018-19 season included the MSC MUSICA which replaced the nine-year regular and firm local favourite, MSC SINFONIA this season. Musica will in turn be replaced by the similarly sized MSC ORCHESTRA next season beginning in November 2019.

The World

There were also cruises by THE WORLD, the largest private residential ship on the planet, which called at the Ports of Cape Town and Durban in December and January, as well as the final voyage of SAGA PEARL II ahead of her retirement with calls to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Richards Bay and Durban. Cunard Lines also returned to South Africa with its impressive QUEEN ELIZABETH AND QUEEN VICTORIA liners calling in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

The Port of Cape Town welcomed 22 passenger liners this season. Durban and Port Elizabeth welcomed 15, Richards Bay and East London had seven each, while Mossel Bay had four.

For the 2019/2020 season, 30 vessels are expected to make 49 stops in Cape Town, while for the 2020/21 season 32 vessels with 67 stops are confirmed.

Queen Mary 2 returns to Durban

It can also be confirmed that Cunard ships including QUEEN MARY 2 will be returning to Durban as from March next year (2020), and again in January 2021 after having overlooked the port for the past three years. On Queen Mary 2’s inaugural visit to Durban and South Africa on 23 March 2010 and subsequent calls for the next six years, large crowds of people turned out on each occasion to welcome or bid farewell to the majestic ship. She is sure to attract much attention once more and will certainly grace the new cruise terminal once that is eventually built.

Viking Sun at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Viking Sun at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal



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small boats operating from Beira, featured in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

At least 30 boats are still missing in the central Mozambican city of Beira, following the devastation caused by cyclone Idai, which hit the city on 14 March, AIM has reported, quoting the Portuguese language news service Noticias.

And in the city itself it will take another two months before most of the debris has been fully cleared, says the president of the municipal council, Daviz Simango.

He told Noticias that one of the first…[restrict] interventions after the cyclone was to restore access through clearing the 90 percent of the roads rendered impassable by debris and trees felled by the force of the wind.

Do not indiscriminately cut down trees

Citizens of Beira have also been requested not to indiscriminately fell trees in the city.

Returning to the report of the missing small boats, these have been described as small boats used to carry passengers and cargo in the Beira area and to districts such as Buzi and Muchanga.

They were owned by members of the Praia Nova Transporters’ Association, Noticias reported on Monday.

The boats were torn from their moorings by the cyclone which came ashore close to the port city. More than a month later their owners still have no idea where they are.

The chairperson of the association, Manuel Djei, says that searches for the boats are continuing, but it is feared that many of them were blown out to sea.


Beira sailing boat.

“The situation of our association is desolate,” he said. “Our members are in despair over what happened. The boats contributed to the transport of people and goods, and were a source of income, both for the owners and for the workers they employed.”

Djei said that the insurance for the boats does not cover this type of situation, which makes matters even worse for the owners.

The Sofala Provincial Maritime Administration is aware of the situation and is assisting in the search for the missing boats. Clearly, however, some if not all of the boats have sunk and during the searches wreckage of some of these has been found along the Beira coast.

The Beira fishermen’s association faces a similar situation, and lost about 20 boats during the cyclone. sources: AIM & Noticias[/restrict]


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Aerial view of the Durban port entrance channel, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Aerial view of the Durban port entrance channel

The heavy rain and strong winds that battered Durban throughout Monday including Monday night and periods of Tuesday, bringing widespread flooding to different parts of the city, including a massive rockfall in the Shongweni area and houses washed away in several areas, also caused problems at the port.

Not only are sections of the harbour…[restrict] covered in plastic, cool drink cans, branches and whole tree trunks and other debris, washed down the three rivers feeding into Durban Bay, but Sub-Saharan Africa’s busiest port also suffered disruptions to services from about 18h00 on Monday night.

During Tuesday the port has remained open to selective vessels as a result of the swell conditions at the port entrance channel where swells of between 4 and 6 metres were being experienced, leading to the selective workings.

MSC Musica sailing

One of the ships that was able to sail from Durban in the late afternoon was the MSC Cruises ship MSC Musica, which was departing on her final cruise to Mozambique, to Portuguese Island. The ship returns to Durban on Friday, where she has been based for the last six months, and later that day will depart for the Mediterranean, bringing to a close the full South African cruise season for 2018/19.[/restrict]


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Cyclone Kenneth 25S and Cyclone 25S, source JTWC, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Image: Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Having been classified as a full cyclone and named Cyclone Kenneth (24S), the northern coast of Mozambique and southern Tanzania can brace for the cyclone to descend overland within the next 72 hours.

At 15h00 on Tuesday (23 April 2019) Kenneth was situated 703 nautical miles north-northwest of St Denis, La Reunion, in position near 10.6S 48.2E and has been tracking west-southwestward at 10 knots over the previous six hours. The system is continuing to consolidate with a current wind intensity of 45 knots gusting to 55 knots.


Sea temperature is highly favourable at 30 degrees Celsius and a subtropical ridge is continuing to steer Kenneth towards a landfall over northern Mozambique after 48 hours. At that stage the wind intensity will have reached 90 knots but it is possible that some dry air will weaken the cyclone slightly shortly before landfall over northern Mozambique. Rugged topography overland is expected to also cause a rapid weakening.

It is being forecast that after landfall the cyclone will turn southward and possibly back towards the Mozambique Channel, which could result in the cyclone redeveloping after 96 hours.

Maximum wave height at present is 11 feet. source JTWC


The storm previously reported in mid Indian Ocean east of Diego Garcia has similarly been classified now as a tropical cyclone, so far not named but designated as Tropical Cyclone 25S.

TC 25S was situated on Tuesday afternoon at approximately 566 nautical miles east of Diego Garcia and tracking southward at 11 knots over the previous six hours.

With a favourable environment for the cyclone to continue developing the storm’s wind intensity of 35 knots is expected to increase to 70 knots after which TC25S is likely to weaken. Maximum wave height is 12 feet and the storm is headed over open ocean. source JTWC


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CSAV Rio Nevado. Picture: Baltic Shipping, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
CSAV Rio Nevado.     Picture: Baltic Shipping

The Chilean car shipping company Compania Sud Americana De Vapores S.A (CSAV) has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for collusive tendering, price fixing and market division.

Announcing this on Tuesday, the Competition Commission said that CSAV is alleged to have breached the Competition Act in respect of tenders issued by Ford Motor Company.

CSAV is accused of colluding with Mitsui OSK Lines Limited (MOL) in the shipment of Ford motor vehicles from South Africa to Europe and…[restrict] Mediterranean (inclusive of North Africa).

CSAV paid penalty

In 2015, CSAV paid an R8.8 million penalty following a consent agreement with the Commission in respect of a similar tender issued by General Motors. CSAV denied involvement in the Ford tender.

To date, four companies have paid a total of more than R310 million in administrative penalties in this matter. Between 2015 and 2018, NYK, WWL and Eukor Car Carriers admitted collusion and settled with the Commission.

In 2017, the Commission referred Höegh Autoliners Holdings AS to the Tribunal for prosecution on seven charges of cartel conduct on similar shipping tenders issued by several motor manufacturers.

MOL was granted leniency for its involvement in the cartel conduct in exchange for information and full cooperation in the matter.[/restrict]


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IRClass banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

It was reported on 23 April that the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), has secured an order for providing classification services for nine floating border out posts (FBOPs) and 36 patrol boats of the Border Security Force of India (BSF).

IRClass, a Preferred Partner to the Indian Navy, has considerably increased the range of its services to the Ministry of Home Affairs in classing and certifying water craft for paramilitary forces. It is understood that this Ministry, in turn, has reciprocated by stipulating that the FBOPs, besides being built to IRClass rules, are also…[restrict] maintained in class for 13 years after delivery. In addition, the scope of inspection services ordered on IRClass for these vessels extends well beyond standard class requirements.


The FBOPs are self-propelled and equipped with navigation, communication and surveillance systems, as well as modern accommodation for their crews and for the crews of the attached patrol boats.

Each FBOP is designed to function as a floating border monitoring post which can be deployed at desired positions in the riverine areas of India’s international borders. These

Commander IR Class KK DHAWAN appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

vessels are also capable of providing logistical support to four smaller patrol boats. The FBOPs will be constructed at the Cochin Shipyard in accordance with the rules of IRClass.

In another project for the Border Security Force of India, a fleet of nine 20-metre medium craft is under construction under the classification of IRClass. These boats are designed to carry out day and night coastal patrol and surveillance operations in coastal areas.

Our illustration here shows Commander KK Dhawan (Retd.), Head of Defence business at IRClass, who commented on the class’s new business: “We are committed to strengthen our working relationship with the Border Security Force of India, by rendering professional services towards the classification of BSF vessels to augment India’s border security capabilities, as secure borders are integral to the nation’s development.”[/restrict]

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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The French Navy’s landing helicopter dock (LHD) Tonnerre in Cape Town earlier in April. Pictures: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The French Navy landing helicopter dock FS Tonnerre in Cape Town harbour.     Pictures: TNPA

The Port of Cape Town hosted two French navy vessels last week carrying French task force “Jeanne d’Arc” 2019 which had just returned from providing humanitarian assistance to those badly affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.

The ships – landing helicopter dock (LHD) TONNERRE and stealth frigate La FAYETTE – arrived in Cape Town on Friday, 12 April and departed again on Friday, 19 April.

Cape Town Port Manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana said it was an honour for the port to welcome the two vessels and their crew.

Jeanne d’Arc

“The work Jeanne d’Arc carries out is…[restrict] extremely valuable, for example they had been engaged in a European counter-piracy operation off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, known as Operation Atalanta, when they were called upon to provide assistance to our neighbouring country of Mozambique after the devastation of Cyclone Idai.

“We are pleased that the young cadets were able to enjoy some time in our port to take in the Mother City at the end of their deployment and we look forward to welcoming them back again as part of their annual training exercises,” she said.

The stern of FS Tonnerre which docked in Cape Town earlier in April. Picture by TNPA, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The stern of FS Tonnerre which docked in Cape Town earlier in April.    Picture by TNPA

Tonnerre is one of five Mistral class amphibious assault ships within Marine Nationale, the French Navy. The large ships are capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 vehicles including 13 tanks, or a 40-strong Leclerc tank battalion, and 450 soldiers.

They are also equipped with a 69-bed hospital, and are capable of serving as part of a NATO Response Force, or with United Nations or European Union peace-keeping forces.

French frigate FS La Fayette which is escorting the LHD on her mission, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
French frigate FS La Fayette which is escorting the LHD on her mission

Frigate La Fayette

The French Navy’s stealth frigate La Fayette also docked at the Port of Cape Town in April.
La Fayette carries a crew of around 160 and is 125 metres long. The ship was commissioned in 1996.

The annual Jeanne d’Arc mission is a five-month French Navy operational deployment of an amphibious battle group using two vessels. It provides on-the-job training for Naval College (École Navale) cadet officers and international cooperation, allowing these young midshipmen to get practical training at sea.

The mission departed Toulon in France on 29 February and will return to the same port in July.[/restrict]


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The suspects. Picture: The Nation
The suspects.      Picture: The Nation

A security group providing anti-piracy services has been arrested and detained by the Nigerian Navy on charges of illegal possession of firearms within Nigerian territorial waters.

The nine men arrested work for the US-based Trident Group, which claimed their people were boarded by a unit of the Nigerian navy despite being well into international waters.

The intervention by a patrol vessel of the Nigerian navy was during a joint operation involving the US Coast Guard and the Nigerian Navy tagged ‘Junction Rain’ in support of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP).

Sea Angels 3 boarded

The Trident vessel boarded is the SEA ANGELS 3 with a crew consisting of five Nigerians, three Greeks and one American.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Navy, Commodore Dickson Olisemenogor told media that the security vessel had been boarded after the captain lied about the number of people on board. He also informed them that there were no weapons on board and they were waiting to rendezvous with a merchant vessel which they would be escorting. However, the navy remained suspicious and decided to board the vessel and conduct a search where they discovered weapons including four Bernelli MI-1 rifles, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and military style gear.

Navy Colours

He said the Sea Angels 3’s tracking and communications equipment had been turned off and the vessel was painted out in navy colours, giving the impression of it being a naval vessel. All this had increased their suspicions about the ship.

A Trident official said the matter has been referred to the United States Embassy in Nigeria calling for the prompt release of those detained.

Nigeria frowns on armed guards and vessels operating near its coast and a number of arrests have been made in the past.


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The chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administration (AAMA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside (pictured) has reiterated the commitment of the African body to build a competitive maritime sector in Africa through continuous engagements and sharing of ideas.

Dr Dakuku Peterside, NIMASA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The AAMA Chair who spoke during the third session of the executive council of the association held in Casablanca, Morocco, disclosed that there is the need for concerted efforts by the various maritime administrations in Africa to be put in place to be able to compete favourably with its counterparts in other continents.

Peterside, who is also the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) noted that the choice of the various countries in the executive was to ensure geographical spread, thereby making sure every region is well represented.

“I beckon on you all to note that our primary aim of coming here is to…[restrict] continue to uphold the tenets of the African Maritime Transport Charter (AMTC) to improve among others, the capacity, capability and performance of Africa’s maritime administrations and the maritime/shipping sector with great emphasis on human resources development, technology and information sharing.”

Call for contributions

He called on the participants to make valuable contributions to the course of promoting the African maritime administration, as this will help to achieve set goals for the body in African.

“Let me assure you that, we will not relent in our efforts to build competitive and vibrant maritime and shipping sector and to give Africa a voice among comity of maritime nations as Africa is our hope for sustainable growth.”

Peterside also expressed delight and optimism that the meeting will yield results and profound way forward to actualising the African Maritime Transport Charter (AMTC).

AAMA Executive Council

The AAMA Executive Council is made up of representatives of Central Africa (Cameroun, Cape Verde), West Africa (Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana), East Africa (Tanzania and Comoros), Southern Africa (Mozambique and South Africa), North Africa (Egypt and Sudan) and Uganda representing land-locked countries.

The meeting had in attendance Executive Council members from Cape Verde, Ghana, Tanzania, Comoros, Mozambique, South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and Nigeria. source: Leadership (Nigeria)[/restrict]


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90S and 91S image credit: Joint Typhoon Warning Centre featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
image credit: Joint Typhoon Warning Centre

A couple of tropical storms, 90S and 91S with the potential of reaching cyclones strength are ‘brewing’ in the Indian Ocean, one near the northern coast of Madagascar and the other in mid-ocean about 500 nautical miles east-northeast of Diego Garcia.

The storm with the most immediate potential of becoming a cyclone, identified so far as 91S, which on Monday 22 April 2019 was situated near 9.7S 53.0E, approximately 711 nautical miles north of Reunion.

With sea temperatures at a supportive…[restrict] 28-29 degrees Celsius making conditions ideal for future development, global models indicate the strom to track in a west to southwestward direction while gradually intensifying over the next 48-72 hours. Minimum sea level pressurewas estimated to be near 1003 MB and the potential for the development of the storm to that of a sugnificant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours has been upgraded to medium.


The second storm, 90S, was located near 4.0S 80.2E on Monday afternoon, approximately 500 nautical miles east-northeast of the island of Diego Garcia.

Sea temperatures of 28-29 degrees Celsius are providing ideal conditions for the storm to intensify, while global models suggest a southeastward initial direction across the ocean over the next 36-48 hours with the storm gradually intensifying to cyclone strength.

Surface winds are currently in the 20-25 knot region, it is estimated and the minimum sea level pressure is at near 1000 MB.

The potential for the development of 90S becoming a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours has been upgraded to medium.[/restrict]


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Sudan tug El Hilal class, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Sudan tug El Hilal class

At Charles Miller Ltd, Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art to be sold by auction at 25 Blythe Road, London, W14 0PD on Tuesday 30th April 2019 at 11h00, precisely.

Lot 268; Estimate £1,500 – £2,500
El Hilal Class of push tug

A builder’s model for the El Hilal Class quarter-wheel push tugs built for the Sudanese Government Agency by Yarrow & Co Ltd, Glasgow, 1954.

The carved and painted hull with lined lower and painted upper decks, painted and lined upper superstructure with wood veneer below, painted stern paddles with twin rudders, deck rails with painted meshing, covered bridge with gold plated helm and telegraph, lamps over, companionways, blue-painted funnel and slatted deck bench and other details, mounted on four ebonised metal columns within original wooden glazed display case with ivorine builder’s plate and wooden feet (plate warped). Overall measurements: 24 x 43½ x 18¼in. (61 x 110.5 x 46.5cm.)

The name El Hilal does not appear in the Yarrow lists and so must be the name for a class of six identical pusher tugs built in 1954 for the Sudanese Government. These were then dis-assembled, shipped to Sudan and re-assembled in situ as was commonly done for this type of river steamer from the mid-19th century. With the end of Empire in sight, however, this must have been one of the last such orders ever dispatched. The six vessels represented by this model are: Hurriyah; Imatong; Lado; Marra; Tagoog; and Taka. However their fates are unknown at present.

Isipingo, Inchanga, Incomati Bank Line freighters model on auction featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Lot 280; Estimate £3,000 – £5,000

Isipingo, Inchanga and Incomati

A builder’s model for Isipingo, Inchanga and Incomati, built by Workman Clark of Belfast for the Bank Line in 1933-34. These three 7369gt sister ships were designed and built for the Africa – India route with connections to the Far East. Inchanga and Isipingo both served out their full careers and were both sold for breaking in 1964.

Incomati was less fortunate and was torpedoed and shelled by U-508 on 18 July 1943 while on passage between Takoradi, Walvis Bay, Durban and the Middle East, sinking with the loss of one life. There were 212 survivors saved by HMSs Boadicea and Bridgewater. U-508 was sunk in the Atlantic on 12 November 1943 by a USN Liberator which was destroyed with loss of her ten-man crew in an exchange of fire.

This model is 27½ x 66½ x 17in. (70 x 169 x 43cm.). The model has a laminated and carved hull with bilge keels, gilt brass propellers, lowered companionways, lined portholes and rudder, with lined boxwood decks with gilt and oxidised brass fittings as appropriate and including anchors with studded chain and winches, deck rails, bitts, ventilators, companionways, covered hatches, racked masts rigged with derricks and derrick winches, lined superstructure with bridge and overbridge with binnacle and wireless point, water tanks, fitted lifeboats in davits, stayed funnel with safety value, extension pipe and whistle, engine lights, slatted deck benches, passenger saloon with tables and chairs. The lower decks with ventilators and other details, mounted on four turned wood green columns secured raised baize lined display base with signed written details within original wood bound glazed case with solid top

There are more fine ship models in the Charles Miller catalogue to be found by CLICKING HERE

Bidding at Auction

There are a number of ways to bid at auction:
* In person, registration required
* Absentee bid, see form on page 126 of the catalogue to be found above
* By telephone, where available, must be booked by 12noon on Monday 29th April.
* Online, via third-party websites listed on page 2 of the catalogue

For further details readers are invited to contact:

Charles Miller Ltd., 6 Imperial Studios, 3/11 Imperial Road, London SW6 2AG
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 806 5530
Facsimile: +44 (0) 207 806 5531 Email:

Reported by Paul Ridgway

Details and illustrations reproduced by kind permission of Charles Miller Ltd, London SW6 2AG ©


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“Crucial for the economic integration of the region – building on the lessons learned from the implementation of previous regional development initiatives”

AfDB banner, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The Board of the African Development Bank ( has approved the Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper 2019 – 2025, adopting the Bank’s multinational operations in Central Africa over the indicated period.

The Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP) for 2019 – 2025 builds on the lessons learned from the implementation of previous regional development initiatives. It also lists the Bank’s plans to accelerate intra-regional trade, inclusive economic growth and structural transformation of the Central African region.

It will guide the Bank’s regional operations in seven member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), namely Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Central African Republic – a combined population of some 130 million people.

The cooperation, integration and economic development goals of the 2019 – 2025 Central Africa regional strategy will be achieved from…[restrict] the basis of two pillars: the first strengthens regional infrastructure (focusing on electricity networks, transport and ICT), while the second supports reforms for intra-regional trade development and cross-border investments and builds the institutional capacity of regional organisations, especially ECCAS and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

Nexus of Africa

Geographically, the Central African zone represents the nexus of Africa, sharing borders with every other region of the continent. Civil harmony and the economic, social and political progress of the region are underpinned by the broader promise of continental cooperation and economic integration.

In 2018, the GDP growth rate in Central Africa doubled to 2.2 % from 1.1% in 2017, but remained below the sub-Saharan average of 3.5%. The region’s growth was driven primarily by global commodity prices, principally oil. Other countries within the ECCAS region continued to grapple with the vicious circle of instability and fragility, weak human and institutional capacity, and infrastructure deficits in the transport, energy and ICT sectors.

Significant resources

AfDB logo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“Central Africa has significant oil resources, deposits of precious metals and minerals, huge transboundary water resources, and the continent’s greatest hydropower potential,” said Ousmane Dore, Director-General of the Bank’s Central Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.

“Implementation of the Central Africa integration strategy will encourage regional and national authorities to ensure that cross-border programs and initiatives are embedded into public resource planning and administration,” he said.

Implementation of the Central Africa RISP will require investments amounting to US$ 4.421 billion, corresponding to 30 regional operations over the seven-year period. About 88% of the planned funding would be devoted to strengthening regional infrastructure.

Capacity building

The infrastructure and institutional capacity-building components of the plan will also support the resilience of the countries in the region. Specific operations will also strengthen resilience to food insecurity, enable the socio-economic reintegration of vulnerable groups, and conserve ecosystems in the Congo Basin.

“The African Development Bank’s ongoing support for Central Africa is crucial for the successful economic integration of the countries in the region,” said Moono Mupotola, the Bank’s Director of Regional Development and Regional Integration.

Supportive interventions

“The new Regional Integration Strategy Paper continues this tradition of supportive interventions in critical economic sectors. Ultimately, it will be a huge boost to intra-regional trade and a much needed structural transformation of the policy and business environment,” Mupotola said.

The RISP is in conformity with the Bank’s new Regional Integration Strategy Framework (RISF) which was approved in March 2018, and the Ten-Year Strategy of the African Development Bank Group (2013-2022). It also aligns with the regional priorities from ECCAS and CEMAC and the Bank’s High 5 priorities.[/restrict]


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Damen Shipyards in Rotterdam, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS online
Damen Shiprepair at Rotterdam

Damen Shipyards Group has posted a net loss of 17 million euro for 2018. This is the first time in 15 years that the Dutch shipbuilder has announced losses.

Damen reports that its financial situation stems from a sustained period of difficulty in a number of maritime sectors and investments it has made in its future.

Notably, despite rising oil prices, the offshore hydrocarbon sectors continue to present tough trading conditions. The harbour towage sector, a key market for Damen, is also under-performing as competition in the marketplace exerts downward pressure on prices and tug operators seek to consolidate their operations. And, while project activity has…[restrict] increased recently for the group’s repair and conversion division, profit generated remains low as the group is absorbing operating losses at its acquired companies Verolme, Curaçao and Mangalia Romania.

Awards not forthcoming

A further factor is the current lower than usual levels of activity at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. The group’s CEO, Réne Berkvens says, “Despite significant investment, over a sustained period, aimed at participation in various projects, for example the Dutch submarine and German MKS 180 programmes, awards have not yet been forthcoming.

“Defence & security projects are a critical factor, not only for the success of Damen, but also for the navy and for the maintenance of a domestic defence industry within the Netherlands. On numerous occasions historically, the Royal Netherlands Navy has showed a progressive and innovative approach, serving as the launching customer for naval technologies that have gone on to be used by navies throughout the world.

Wealth of knowledge

“Because of this, we have at Damen and within our research institutes and universities, a wealth of knowledge that it is a vital element of our economy and an asset to the country.”

Despite the difficult market conditions, the shipyards group has continued to book a large amount of projects – worth in the region of 1.9 billion Euro in 2018.

Summing up, Mr Berkvens, states “Turnover is generally healthy. The difficulty is that, despite high levels of activity, profit is under pressure from a combination of factors including vessel oversupply in some markets, fierce competition and increasing labour costs in certain regions.”

Signs of promise

Damen, with multi-market penetration, has proven resilient to turbulent market conditions in the past. At the present time, numerous maritime markets do show signs of promise including cruise, inland shipping, public transport, yachting and offshore renewables.

Further factors affecting Damen’s end of year financial results include the shipyard group’s continued investment in facilities, capabilities and personnel. Amongst other things, this includes the group’s acquisition of a stake in the shipyard now known as Damen Shipyards Mangalia in Romania. With this and other investments, Damen has entered the cruise, RoPax and large offshore vessel construction markets and prepares itself further for participation in future large-scale defence & security contracts.

Continued investment

“It’s a sign of the strength of our company that it continues to invest during these difficult times,” explains Mr Berkvens. “Damen, as a family business, holds a long-term view and continues to plan ahead in full confidence of better times in the future.

“In addition to preparing for this via a programme of continued acquisition and facilities development, we feel it is crucial that we continue to invest in our personnel and in maintaining employment opportunities. Only in this way can we be sure that, when the markets do eventually recover, both Damen and the Netherlands retain their access to the skills and knowledge necessary to maintain a successful shipbuilding industry.”[/restrict]


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Port of Durban and cruise ships, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Port of Durban and cruise ships

A delegation led by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) visited Miami to take part in the annual Seatrade Cruise Global Conference being held in that city, the cruise capital of the world.

The annual event, held each year over three days at the Miami Beach Convention Center, is viewed as the world’s foremost cruise industry event.

The South African delegation consisted of 10 organisations and was accommodated in a 140m2 ‘South African Pavilion’ at Seatrade, where it showcased the offerings of the KZN Cruise Terminal, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Cruise Terminal and Durban Tourism. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government and the Department of Trade and Industry also participated.

The general purpose of the delegation taking part in this annual event is to attract more cruise ships to South Africa.

Some years ago a similar event organised by the Seatrade organisers was held in South Africa on the North Coast outside Durban for the same purpose, and was attended by many of the leading cruise companies, and while it didn’t lead to any marked increase in the number of cruise companies or their ship visiting South Africa, there has been a steady increase in the visits.

One of the biggest

The South African stand at the Miami Show was descried as one of the biggest of the event and SAMSA said in a statement that it was confident the improved showing at this event would lead to more cruise tourism.

South Africa has exhibited or attended the Miami show on a number of occasions but never, according to SAMSA, on this large scale.

New Durban Cruise Terminal under development, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
New Durban Cruise Terminal under development

In its statement SAMSA said that South Africa’s share of the global cruise market is estimated at less than 1 per cent.

“The cruise tourism industry is the only growth area in the broader maritime shipping sector,” said SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi. “It is envisaged to double in size over the next eight to 10 years with all the order books of the shipping yards full until 2027. But while the global cruise industry is growing exponentially, South Africa is not reaping its full share of the benefits.

Market Share

“Our share of the market is miniscule and this is mainly due to lack of infrastructure and lack of action. South Africa has rectified the infrastructure issue through the development of two world class terminals in Cape Town and Durban. Now SAMSA is tackling the issue by proactively marketing South Africa as a cruise destination.”

Cape Town's new cruise terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

According to Mr Tilayi, SAMSA had opted to take the lead and manage South Africa’s presence at Seatrade in order to fulfill its mandate to promote South Africa’s maritime interests.

In addition to lending a hand in attracting more global cruise liners onto South African shores, SAMSA launched a jobs focused initiative in 2016 called the Maritime Youth Development Programme, through which South African youth is recruited and placed on cruise vessels across the world.


Working in partnerships with interested parties as the Gauteng and Eastern Cape Premiers’ Offices, Harambee and others, SAMSA is continuing with the programme which is hoped will create no less than 1000 job opportunities on global cruise liners annually.

“There is a lot of opportunity to create jobs and to grow the maritime economy. Unfortunately, South Africa has not fully exploited these opportunities. SAMSA is determined to accelerate the process by, among other things, ensuring South Africa is prominent at all the necessary global gatherings, such as Seatrade, and by building on our Ships Register, which we have also been actively doing,” Tilayi says.

“South Africa has a world-class cruise offering, but we have not communicated that effectively in the past. We are rectifying that oversight with our presence at Seatrade. We are saying to the world, Come to South Africa; it really is a world in one country. And it is your loss if you never visit.”


Below are two video interviews of South African youth, one with Miss Asisipho Nombityana who is now on her second year working on cruise ships, and another with Miss Aviwe Makhaba who was due to start work earlier in 2019.





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Nigerian armed pirates featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Four armed pirates in a speedboat approached an anchored products tanker in the Bonny River Inner Anchorage, position 04:28.1N 007:10.1E on Monday 15 April at 20h20 UTC.

As the boat approached the tanker the men on board opened fire aiming towards the accommodation area.

With the alarm raised and the crew of the tanker mustering in…[restrict] the ship’s citadel, the onboard Nigerian naval guards returned fire on the pirates who by now had managed to get onboard the tanker.

Having come under fire themselves and learned that the ship was guarded the pirates returned to their speedboat and made their escape.

Bonny Signal Station and the Nigerian Navy ashore had meanwhile been notified of what was taking place.

One of the onboard Nigerian Navy armed guards was injured in the firefight and was given first aid by the ship’s crew. Two security boats approached in response to the signal that the ship was under attack and one of the boats took the injured guard on board and transferred him ashore for medical assistance.

The crew of the tanker and the remaining naval guards were reported as uninjured and safe.[/restrict]


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FS Champlain A623, the third ship in the class which is based at Réunion. Picture: French Navy
FS Champlain A623, the third ship in the class which is based at Réunion.     Picture: French Navy

The French defense procurement agency has taken delivery of the fourth and final d’Entrecasteaux-class multi-mission ship from the Kership joint venture.

FS DUMONT D’URVILLE A624 was delivered to the French Navy in a ceremony on 5 April 2019.

Like its predecessors, the ship will sail from…[restrict] its current homeport in Brest to one of France’s overseas territories.

B2M ships are constructed to carry out overseas missions of sovereignty, law enforcement and logistic support missions. The first ship in the class, FS D’ENTRECASTEAUX, has been operating from Noumea, New Caledonia, since July 2016. FS BOUGAINVILLE, the third units in the class is based at Tahiti, while FS CHAMPLAIN, the fourth ship is based at Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

A624 the fourth and final B2m Multi-mission ship has been delivered to the French Navy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A624 the fourth and final B2m Multi-mission ship has been delivered to the French Navy

The latest, and final ship, will be based in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

The 65-metre ships displace 2,300 tons and are crewed by 20 sailors. They are capable of operating for up to 30 days before returning to port and achieve some 200 operational days a year.

The vessels were delivered by Kership, a joint venture between DCNS and Piriou, under an initial three-ship contract from December 2013. A contract option for Dumont d’Urville was announced by DGA in 2015. source: Naval Today[/restrict]


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RED SEA (15 April 2019) The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), front left, the French Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (F 91), front right, the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), the Royal Danish Navy frigate HDMS Niels Juel (F 363) and the French F70AA-class air defense destroyer FS Forbin (D 620) are underway in formation in the Red Sea, April 15, 2019. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua L. Leonard/Released), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
RED SEA (15 April 2019) The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), front left, the French Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (F 91), front right, the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), the Royal Danish Navy frigate HDMS Niels Juel (F 363) and the French F70AA-class air defense destroyer FS Forbin (D 620) are underway in formation in the Red Sea, April 15, 2019. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua L. Leonard/Released)

USS John C. Stennis and FS Charles de Gaulle conduct maritime exercise in Red Sea

Maritime forces from France’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group and the [US Navy] John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group participated in a naval passing exercise (PASSEX) in the Red Sea, 15 April.

The Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group, composed of France’s Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91), F70AA-class air defense destroyer FS Forbin (D 620), and the Royal Danish Navy Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Niels Juel (F 363), along with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, composed of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), conducted dissimilar aircraft training, a nighttime gun exercise (GUNEX), a liaison officer exchange program, and a photo exercise.

“French Rafale aircraft and American [F/A-18] Super Hornets conducted…[restrict] air-to-air combat and tanking (refueling) training,” said Cmdr. Desobry Bowens, Carrier Air Wing Nine’s operation officer (CAG-Ops) embarked aboard the John C. Stennis. “The Rafales also performed touch-and-go procedures on the [John C. Stennis’] flight deck.”

The ships and their crews were put through several integrated training events.

“We did a liaison officer exchange, where their CAG-Ops and admiral spent time aboard the John C. Stennis, and our admiral went to the Charles De Gaulle,” said Bowens. “We also exchanged landing signal officers from both aircraft carriers to cross-train. Both carriers have similar aircraft landing equipment.”

Conducting joint operations and exercises in the region with allied NATO partners is beneficial to everyone involved.

“[This] PASSEX enhances partnerships with our NATO allies, and promotes interoperability,” said Bowens. “We can better understand how each other operates. [The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group’s] mission often includes presence operations, and when we work in combined airspace, we show strength through resolve. We’re not just two aircraft carriers passing by each other at sea, we’re working together.”

A similar viewpoint was shared by French leadership.

“This PASSEX with John C. Stennis strike group, a few days only after entering the Red Sea, emphasises Charles de Gaulle’s come back at its highest level,” said Capt. de Saint Germain, commanding officer of Charles de Gaulle. “That kind of interaction is the best way to increase our interoperability with our American ally.”

The John C. Stennis also provided targets for French Rafales to strafe at during the nighttime GUNEX.

PASSEX is just one of many exercises conducted by partner-nations in support of regional security and stability. The exercise concluded with a photo exercise, capturing the strength through unity that multi-national navies have while operating together.

This PASSEX is one of the many ways the U.S. Navy works with France’s Marine Nationale in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. In January 2019, USS John C. Stennis and France’s Marine Nationale F70AA-class air defense destroyer FS Cassard (D 614) culminated weeks of interoperability training.

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.[/restrict]

Report by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Greenberg, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs, Story Number: NNS190416-05 Release Date: 4/16/2019


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Leading maritime capitals of the world report 2019 banner, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The Leading Maritime Capitals report for 2019 is out, with fresh insight on which maritime metropolises provide the best support for companies in shipping and related services. Criteria include soft and hard infrastructure and access to world-class talent and services – all key components that maritime businesses need to thrive in their chosen locations.

Singapore maintained its top position at the head of the 15 leading maritime capitals.

Despite a somewhat weak trade cycle in traditional shipping and offshore oil and gas markets yet to recover, Singapore was able to retain its lead in three of the five pillars of the ranking: Shipping, Ports and Logistics as well as Attractiveness and Competitiveness.

In the two remaining pillars, London is number one in Maritime Finance & Law, while Oslo is number one in Maritime Technology.

Maritime Capitals of the World 2019 report, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Maritime Capitals of the World 2019

On the overall ranking, Hamburg remains in the number two spot, while Oslo drops from third to seventh.

Rotterdam and Hong Kong show the biggest improvement, climbing to third and fourth respectively, with London rounding out the top five, and Shanghai at number six.

“Maritime Singapore’s continuous effort to strengthen its attractiveness as an international maritime centre has been well received by the industry. The strong results on both the objective indicators and expert assessments indicate its relevance as a critical node within the maritime sector regionally and globally,” says Shahrin Osman, Regional Head of Maritime Advisory, DNV GL.

Previous editions of the report have grabbed the attention of not only the maritime industry, but the global community. The general public is becoming increasingly aware that the maritime industry is a cornerstone of global trade, and those cities and regions that attract maritime commerce are positioned to command leading roles in the economic future of the world.

For the 2019 report, some new and more comprehensive objective and subjective indicators as well as data sources have been used to ensure that the analysis is based on reliable and complete data for the various cities, which ultimately allow for a more refined benchmarking of the relative performance of each city.

“One of the new indicators this year is connected to the tremendous sustainability challenges of the oceans. According to the 200 maritime experts in the study, Oslo stands out as the main centre for ocean technologies and solutions, with a higher score than the combined value of the three next in the rank – Singapore, Copenhagen and Rotterdam,” says Erik W Jakobsen, partner in Menon Economics.

The subjective indicators reveal the perception and assessment of each capital as seen by selected business executives from all around the globe, primarily shipowners and managers. Of the 200 experts called upon to respond to the survey, around 40 per cent are based in Europe, 30 per cent in Asia, and the remaining 30 per cent in America, the Middle East and Africa.

Asked to look five years into the future, the experts foresee Singapore retaining its top position, but with stronger competition from Shanghai, and Dubai poised to climb into the top five overall by 2024. Hamburg, Rotterdam, London and Oslo are expected to stay strong in Europe.

The Leading Maritime Capitals 2019 report is made in cooperation between Menon Economics and DNV GL. The full report can be downloaded HERE

About Menon Economics

Menon Economics is an economic analysis and advisory firm, with 50 economists on master and Phd level. Menon has studied the maritime industry for 20 years and has published the biannual report The Leading Maritime Capitals of the World since 2012. For more information visit


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IMRF banner displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

A mass rescue operation – indeed, any incident beyond everyday capability – is a challenge for any State and any SAR organisation; but this is particularly so for small States and organisations, whose planning and response capabilities are naturally limited. A cruise ship accident in the Caribbean, for example, where many such ships trade, is a very rare event, but still a possible one. Rarity is part of the problem.

Thus the scene is set by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) – see:

This then begs a question
How do you prepare for such huge, once-in-a-career challenges?

In the UK IMRF Member the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency of the UK Government, takes this question very seriously.

The UK has a number of Overseas Territories* most of which are very small but all have responsibilities under international law to prepare for SAR response. [Several of these in the South Atlantic fall under the broader definition of Africa’]

On request of the Overseas Territories, the MCA is running the Overseas Territories Search and Rescue (OTSAR) Capability Project with the purpose of reviewing and improving existing search and rescue capabilities within and across the Caribbean and South Atlantic Overseas Territories, funded through the UK Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

IMRF banner displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

As a part of the project the MCA and their UK Overseas Territories partners have considered the necessary preparations to handle mass rescues.

In late January representatives of the Caribbean Territories – the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands took part in a workshop organised by the MCA in Miami to discuss mass rescue operations.

At IMRF’s the Mass Rescue Operations manager, David Jardine-Smith, was among the outside experts invited to address the meeting. He introduced participants to the IMRF’s online library of information on mass rescue operations, to be found at: and invited them to use this information to help them learn from others’ experience of these very challenging events.

Among the OTSAR Capability Project’s overall objectives are the following – which the IMRF supports as important to SAR development anywhere in the world:

**Identify synergies to improve SAR coordination.

**Familiarise participants with the procedures for the establishment of an adequate and effective SAR service, including national SAR plans, coordinating committees, internal cooperation and the establishment of policies and standard operating procedures.

**Develop a SAR competency framework, training needs analysis, training and exercise programmes, and a qualification and certification framework.

**Know the key aspects of a basic SAR system, including concept, components, training and exercises, communications, system management, and the improvement of services.

**Promote debate on how to improve SAR capabilities and the cooperation between and across the Territories and in the region; and,

**Provide the opportunity to exchange experiences, best practices and lessons learnt.

The January mass rescue event in Miami was followed by another workshop in March at which the participants tested their planning in tabletop exercises. These were conducted with the assistance of United States Coast Guard and French experts from the region as well as the MCA team.

It is understood that the IMRF has invited the OTSAR Project’s Operational Lead, Philipp Bostock, and representatives of the Territories concerned to attend the World Maritime Rescue Congress in Vancouver in June and share their experiences of this valuable SAR development project.

Details of the Vancouver Congress are to be found here:

* The UK Overseas Territories participating in the project are: Anguilla; Bermuda; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Montserrat; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Turks and Caicos Islands.

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 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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