Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 14-17 June 2019

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

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Come with us as we report through 2019

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Today (Monday 17 June) is a public holiday in South Africa.  Our next Newsletter will be issued on Tuesday 18 June 2019 but news here on site will be receiving updates

These news reports are updated on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za

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FIRST VIEW 1: FS LA CHAMPLAIN

French Navy patrol ship La Champlain departs from Durban after four-days of R&R in the city. The ship is stationed at La Reunion island and patrols most of the Indian Ocean. Waiting outside the port can be seen one of two SA Navy patrol ships which accompanied the Frech ship as she left our shores. The  upper picture is by Trevor Jones

FS La Champlain. departing Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture by Trevor Jones

Once again some interesting and unusual ships called at Durban in this past week. One of these was the French Naval ship LA CHAMPLAIN, which called at Durban for a few days of R&R for the crew of 20 or so. We covered this ship in an earlier edition, when there was news that she was coming to Durban at this time. Details HERE. The naval ship sailed on Friday afternoon, accompanied by two SA Navy patrol ships, both former missile strike craft that are based at the Duban Naval Base. That’s boat P1569 that can be seen in the second picture, waiting outside for the French ship to exit the port before all three headed out to sea together. Lower picture by Keith Betts (previously incorrectly accredited – apologies to Mr Betts)

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FIRST VIEW 2:  ENIGMA XK

Enigma at Durban, picture by Keith Betts, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Enigma arriving at Durban for bunkers, picture by Keith Betts and featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Enigma XK.      Pictures: Keith Betts
With a name such as this how can any ship be anything but an enigma, or something of a puzzle. At first glance you might be excused for thinking this was another naval visitor but in fact the smallish vessel is a luxury yacht. ENIGMA XK (IMO: 8608341) was calling for bunkers and according to the photographer Keith Betts she was previously a Scottish patrol boat, so the naval assumption wouldn’t have been far off the mark. Equasis describes her as a ‘Houseboat’ which hardly describes her appearance. Owned by Afritec in Denmark, Enigma XK has a deadweight of 1762 tons an a length 71 metres and a width of 11.69m and was built in 1988.      These pictures are by Keith Betts

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US STATEMENT AND VIDEO ON TANKER ATTACKS

In this Powerpoint slide provided by U.S. Central Command damage from an explosion, left, and a likely limpet mine can be seen on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, 13 June 2019, as the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), not pictured, approaches the damaged ship. Sailors aboard Bainbridge aided the crew of Kokuka Courageous. Bainbridge is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet areas of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. U.S. Navy photo ©/Released, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
In this Powerpoint slide provided by U.S. Central Command damage from an explosion, left, and a likely limpet mine can be seen on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, 13 June 2019, as the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), not pictured, approaches the damaged ship. Sailors aboard Bainbridge aided the crew of Kokuka Courageous. Bainbridge is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet areas of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. U.S. Navy photo ©/Released

U.S. CENTCOM also issued the following statement concerning the explosions on board the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local time from the motor tanker (M/T) Altair and a second one at 7a.m. local time from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.

Both vessels were in international waters in the Gulf of Oman approximately 10 nautical miles apart at the time of the distress calls. USS Bainbridge was approximately 40 nautical miles away from the M/T Altair at the time of the attack, and immediately began closing the distance.

At 8:09 a.m. local time a U.S. aircraft observed an IRGC Hendijan class patrol boat and multiple IRGC fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC) in the vicinity of the M/T Altair.

At 9:12 a.m. local time a U.S. aircraft observes the FAC/FIAC pull a raft from the M/T Altair from the water.

At 9:26 a.m. local time the Iranians requested that the motor vessel Hyundai Dubai, which had rescued the sailors from the M/T Altair, to turn the crew over to the Iranian FIACs. The motor vessel Hyundai Dubai complied with the request and transferred the crew of the M/T Altair to the Iranian FIACs.

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.

While the Hendijan patrol boat appeared to attempt to get to the tug Coastal Ace before USS Bainbridge, the mariners were rescued by USS Bainbridge at the request of the master of the M/T Kokuka Courageous. The rescued sailors are currently aboard USS Bainbridge.

At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous (video below).

The US statement continued: “The U.S. and our partners in the region will take all necessary measures to defend ourselves and our interests. Today’s attacks are a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce.

The U.S. and the international community, stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation.

The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests. source: US Central Command

Video showing IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine. [1:39]

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ATTACKS ON SHIPPING, COAST OF OMAN: IMO SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS OUT

IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture courtesy IMO

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (illustrated here from www.imo.org IMO ©) has condemned the suspected attacks on two tankers off the coast of Oman that occurred earlier on Thursday.

Speaking during the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 101st session at IMO HQ in London, Secretary-General Lim said: “These suspected attacks, coupled with the attacks in the UAE last month, concern me greatly. IMO has developed a comprehensive regime of regulation through the ISPS Code and the SUA Conventions and Protocols to prevent and respond to unprovoked, unlawful attacks on merchant shipping.

“The threat to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business, is intolerable. I urge all Member States to redouble their efforts to work together to find a lasting solution to ensure the safety and security of international shipping around the globe and protection of the marine environment.

“I will carefully review the results of the investigation, once they are completed, to consider if additional IMO action is warranted.”

A few notes on the (a) MSC, (b) the SUA and (c) the ISPS Code

(a)
The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) deals with all matters related to maritime safety and maritime security which fall within the scope of IMO, covering both passenger ships and all kinds of cargo ships. Currently MSC 101 is in session to 14 June at IMO HQ in London.

(b)
The SUA treaties provide a regime relating to the suppression of unlawful acts which threaten the safety of maritime navigation and the safety of fixed platforms located on the continental shelf. The 2005 Protocol to the SUA Convention (Article 3bis) states that a person commits an offence within the meaning of the Convention if that person unlawfully and intentionally (among other things): uses against or on a ship or discharging from a ship any explosive, radioactive material or BCN (biological, chemical, nuclear) weapon in a manner that causes or is likely to cause death or serious injury or damage.

(c)
The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The Code forms the basis for a comprehensive mandatory security regime for international shipping. The Code is divided into two sections, Part A and Part B. Mandatory Part A outlines detailed maritime and port security-related requirements which SOLAS contracting governments, port authorities and shipping companies must adhere to, in order to be in compliance with the Code. Part B provides a series of recommendatory guidelines.

And the view from the ICS…

The Board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has expressed concern at the serious incidents involving the Marshall Islands flagged ship Front Altair and the Panama flagged Kokuka Courageous, in the Gulf of Oman. Addressing the issue at the ICS Annual General Meeting in the Faroe Islands (13 June), the Board has expressed the international shipping industry’s alarm at recent incidents in the region affecting ships and their crews.

Gut Platten, ICS Secretary General commented: “This suspected attack is a deeply worrying and intolerable situation. We await further clarification and information as to what has happened but we are relieved that there appears to have been no loss of life and that the crews are reportedly safe. This is the second incident in one month and the shipping industry, and most importantly the crews, must not be exposed to such risks.

“The Straits of Hormuz are crucial for the world economy, and any deliberate attempts to threaten traffic through them are to be condemned in the strongest terms. The situation continues to develop and we will scrutinize it closely, providing assistance to the industry to safeguard world trade and, most importantly, the lives of the men and women whose daily task it is to ensure its continued flow.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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BIMCO URGES NATIONS TO CO-OPERATE AFTER TANKERS ATTACKED IN HORMUZ STRAIT

tanker attacked in Hormuz Strait, 13 June 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS, Picture IRIB News
Picture: IRIB News

Tensions in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz area in particular have heightened after two tankers came under attack this morning (Thursday 13 June 2019).

The attack has left both vessels damaged and one burning and the crew of both tankers having to be evacuated onto ships that came to their aid.

The two tankers, Frontline’s FRONT ALTAIR, loaded with naphtha and BSM Ship Management’s KOKUKA COURAGEOUS loaded with methanol, were attacked by what appears to have been some form of torpedoes or possibly mines, which caused large explosions and left Front Altair on fire. The tankers were off the coast of Fujairah in Oman at the time, close to the Hormuz Strait.

Kokuka Courageous is said to be holed in her starboard side but BSM Shipmanagement said that her cargo was intact and the tanker was in no danger of sinking. BSM said its tanker “is about 70 nautical miles from Fujairah and about 14 nautical miles from the coast of Iran.”

This is the same area where another four tankers were attacked several weeks ago, which left the vessels with serious damage to their hulls. The perpetrators of those attacks have not been identified though suspicions immediately fell on Iran. The US claimed at that time that the four ships had been struck by Iranian mines.

Iran’s national television has carried images of the burning tankers along with reports of that attack.

Tanker attacked Tursday 13 June in Hormus Strait, picture IRIB News, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture: IRIB News

The US 5th Fleet which is operational in the area issued a statement saying: “We are aware of the reported attack on shipping vessels in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local (Bahrain) time and a second one at 7:00 a.m. U.S. Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance.”

The Royal Navy-operated United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations issued an alert of an unspecified incident in the Gulf of Oman and urging mariners to exercise “extreme caution” in the area.

The attacks have taken place during the visit to Iran by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where he was hoping to mediate between Tehran and Washington. By coincidence or otherwise the cargoes of both tankers are described as “Japan-related” cargo.

BIMCO, which represents around 60% of the world’s merchant fleet measured by tonnage, has meanwhile responded to the news of the attacks by urging nations to co-operate through diplomatic efforts after the new Hormuz attacks and to defuse tension.

“We strongly call for nations to do what they can to de-escalate tensions and ensure the safe passage of merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz,” said Angus Frew, BIMCO Secretary General & CEO.

He said it is unacceptable that the lives of innocent seafarers are put at risk in unprovoked attacks.

BIMCO Head of Maritime Security, Jakob P. Larsen said the increase in attacks and the escalated threat to seafarers is an urgent concern to the industry. “Following the two most recent attacks, and while we await the results of the investigations of the attacks, the tension in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is now as high as it gets without being an actual armed conflict,” he warned.

The Strait of Hormuz provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most important sea lanes. Disruption of shipping through the strait will have a major impact on the oil trade and the shipping industry.

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10,000 TONNES OF BRIDGEWORKS AS PROJECT CARGO VIA PORT OF WALVIS BAY

Project cargo at Port of Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

When the general cargo ship NOMADIC MILDE docked at the Port of Walvis Bay over the past weekend it was for the purpose of discharging a consignment of 10,720 metric tonnes of project cargo consisting of material that will be used to complete the construction of the Mohembo Bridge in Botswana.

The 1.2km long bridge, which has been under construction since November 2016, will connect villages on the east of the river with the rest of the country in Botswana. It will furthermore provide reliable access to services, most importantly health and education among others and also open up the district for future economic activities.

The bridge will also make it feasible for expansion of future road networks that…

Dry Port at Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

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SEYCHELLES FLOATING SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT MOVES FORWARD

Providence Lagoon, where the floating solar plant is to be set up. The historic clean energy project by the Seychelles government, supported by the Clinton Foundation, moves into the next phase of implementation, featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Providence Lagoon, where the floating solar plant is to be set up. The historic clean energy project by the Seychelles government, supported by the Clinton Foundation, moves into the next phase of implementation

Africa’s first independent power producer floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) project is moving ahead in the Seychelles.

The project, launched by the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and the Seychelles Energy Commission, will be the first utility-scale, private-sector funded floating solar project in Africa, and aims to support the country’s transition to renewable energy.

The project is being implemented by the Government of Seychelles and the Public Utilities Corporation with the support of the African Legal Support Facility and the Clinton Foundation, with Trinity International LLP and Multiconsult Norge AS serving as the transaction and tender advisers. The floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) projec will be located in Providence lagoon on Mahé Island and will have an estimated capacity between 3.5 – 4 MWAC.

This month, the request for proposals process was launched to a group of pre-qualified bidders and joint ventures who were selected last year as part of the first phase of procurement. With this process opening, this clean energy project moves another step closer to full implementation. Bidders are required to submit their full technical and financial proposals in September 2019, with an expected tender award in November 2019. Construction is expected to start soon thereafter, with the project becoming operational in 2020.

“We at the Clinton Climate Initiative are thrilled to support this innovative project, which represents a groundbreaking step forward for island nations and other regions with limited land available for solar development,” said Fiona Wilson, Senior Regional Manager, Clinton Climate Initiative.

“Floating solar photovoltaic energy holds immense potential for islands, and our partners in Seychelles are demonstrating true leadership in addressing the global climate and energy crisis.”

Tony Imaduwa, CEO of Seychelles Energy Commission described it as a landmark project for Seychelles. “The project not only injects green energy into the grid but also exemplifies the country’s commitment and will in transforming its energy sector to a low-carbon one,” he said.

Last week the Government of Seychelles hosted a pre-bid meeting and site visit for pre-qualified bidders to brief them on the tender process, site and build area. The pre-qualified bidders were able to view the lagoon and related sites in person, network with local contractors, and pose questions for clarification to the project team.

During the next phase of the project, the bidders will prepare technical and financial proposals.

Bidders will have more than three months to prepare their full proposals in line with the requirements of the request for proposals. The proposals will be evaluated against a set of technical and financial criteria, and the best-evaluated bidder will be selected to finance, design, build, own, and operate the plant.

Electricity generated from the plant will be sold to the Public Utilities Corporation at a fixed tariff under a power purchase agreement with a 25-year duration.

When fully constructed and operational, this innovative project will be the first utility-scale, private-sector funded floating solar plant in Africa, and Seychelles’ first independent power producer, drawing international expertise and capital to both transfer knowledge to the local energy sector and accelerate Seychelles’ transition to renewable energy.

The plant will also be the first utility-scale floating solar project in a marine environment worldwide, paving the way for further marine projects, a crucial opportunity for island nations and other land-scarce energy systems.

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NGQURA TANK FARM PROJECT REMAINS ON TRACK

The 20ha Port of Ngqura Tank Farm site has been cleared of vegetation in preparation for bulk earthworks. Platform preparation has started in the centre of the site. TNPA has already completed the main access road from the N2 to the Tank Farm site to ease construction featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The 20ha Port of Ngqura Tank Farm site has been cleared of vegetation in preparation for bulk earthworks. Platform preparation has started in the centre of the site. TNPA has already completed the main access road from the N2 to the Tank Farm site to ease construction

After turning the first sod earlier this year, both Transnet Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Ngqura and Oil Tanking Grindrod Calulo Holdings (OTGC) are currently on track with the 24-month development period to commission the new in the port at the end of 2020.

With environmental compliance and the enhancement of the Nelson Mandela Bay economy as top priorities, various contracts have been awarded already – approximately 80% to local suppliers – and work is in full swing.

TNPA’S progress

Having completed Phase 1 of the infrastructure required to service the site on 28 March 2014, TNPA commenced with Phase 2 in November 2018 when it…

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INTRODUCING TNPA’S ONLY WOMAN DIVER

Makhosazana Sengo is currently the only female diver within the Transnet National Ports Authority system and serves the Port of Richards Bay as an Acting Civil Diver, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Makhosazana Sengo is currently the only female diver within the Transnet National Ports Authority system and serves the Port of Richards Bay as an Acting Civil Diver

Coming nose to snout with a great white shark would be enough to turn most trainees away from a diving career – but not Makhosazana Sengo. Being one of only two female divers to have entered the Transnet National Ports Authority system, Sengo is well versed in overcoming adversity to achieve her goals.

“In that moment I was very scared and traumatised but I overcame the fear by descending again. Now I am so used to seeing sharks during dives. I knew from the beginning that I had to think about the risks involved in this position, that I had to be aware there were a lot of dangers in this job. I also knew that I was entering a very male-dominated environment and I had to overcome all of this so that I could pursue my dream,” Sengo said.

Sengo currently serves the Port of Richards Bay as an Acting Civil Diver. She began her career at the port in 2011 as a Diver Attendant, but her links to the port go deeper than her diving tenure alone.

Makhosazana Sengo, only the second female diver in TNPA service, featured here in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Prior to discovering her passion, Sengo – a Mtubatuba (Zululand) resident – was well-known as an arts and crafts vendor stationed on the quayside, supporting her family by selling her beadwork and soft stone sculptures to tourists visiting Richards Bay.

Her desire to learn more about the ocean came from an unlikely source – former South African Paralympian, Natalie du Toit. “Here was this woman, who faced so many hardships and was winning gold medals. And I thought, ‘What is stopping me from learning how to swim?’”

Sengo began lessons and after achieving her swimming stripes embarked on a lifeguarding course which then led to her earning a sponsorship from the UK-based Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) to participate in a Recreational Diving Course. It was then, that her journey towards becoming a professional diver gained traction.

“While I was participating in lifesaving training, I already felt like I wanted to explore the underwater world.  It triggered something inside me that told me I was going to be a diver and to go and explore the beauty of the sea and sea life.”

Aside from the trepidation of entering a traditionally male-dominated profession, Sengo also faced personal fears – a fear of confined, dark spaces.

“I spoke to people in the diving environment to help me overcome my weaknesses about confined spaces and having to work in the dark. In particular, I was supported by my Berthing Administrator Liezelle Botes and by Kalvin Jansen, my Diving Supervisor, who told me I could do anything I set my mind to. And I did.”

Feature in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

As Acting Civil Diver, Sengo’s duties are multifaceted and include working under water with technical surface supply equipment, conducting underwater welding, cutting and grinding, underwater quay wall inspection and repairs, underwater maintenance of marine crafts and inspections using subsea project equipment, general inspections and underwater photography, as well as participating in surface quay wall furniture maintenance.

“My work environment is never the same. It changes every day. Each day I learn something new and that’s the exciting part of the job,” she said.

Sengo has Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver and Rescue Diver qualifications under her belt.

Earlier this year, she participated in and passed a two-month Class 3 and 4 Inshore Civil Diver training programme with Seadog Commercial Diving in Saldanha Bay.

The mother of one is not content with being idle now that she has broken through the door of one profession, as she is currently working towards a Civil Engineering degree and plans on pursuing training as a Class 2 and Diver Medical Technician.

Sengo is aware that her role in the port system turns a spotlight on the lack of female representation in the profession, but wants her journey to serve as inspiration to other young women. The first female diver in the TNPA system was Ratanang Maremane, who served at the Port of East London.

“You need to be passionate about something in your life, to dream big and believe in yourself. I want to guide everyone that needs my help. I was scared in the beginning but then I overcame all my fears and now I am reaching my goals one by one. Face your fears, find someone or something to inspire you and then the sky is the limit. There is a big world out there and a lot of diving opportunities for women,” Sengo said.

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CENTRAL AFRICA STANDS TO BENEFIT THE MOST FROM AfCFTA

Africa’s GDP growth could reach 6% a year with a borderless continent

AfCFTA banner map, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Central Africa stands to benefit the most from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), data from the African Development Bank shows.

Hanan Morsy, Director of Research at the Bank, revealed the findings at the launch of one of the Bank’s flagship reports in Malabo, where the African Development Bank is hosting its Annual Meetings.

Morsy said Central Africa’s real income could increase by as much as 7% in one of the scenarios that researchers describe in the 2019 African Economic Outlook. By the same calculations, East Africa, currently the star performer on the continent, would experience an increase of around 4.2%, followed closely by North Africa.

The scenarios measure the potential outcomes of the AfCFTA, ranging from…

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TRANSNET PORT TERMINALS INVESTS MILLIONS IN YOUTH TRAINING

Standing under a Ship To Shore crane, a TPT youth employee processes containerized cargo for import and export using a Hand Held Terminal device at the Durban Container Terminal, featuing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Standing under a Ship To Shore crane, a TPT youth employee processes containerized cargo for import and export using a Hand Held Terminal device at the Durban Container Terminal

In a bid to reduce youth unemployment, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) spent in excess of R32.5 million in the last financial year across structured youth development programs within technical, management, logistics and administrative disciplines. This was an 18% increase year on year.

“We offered over 160 graduates work experience in 2018/2019, giving youth much needed skills that were relevant for both the freight logistics industry as well as the economy,” said Brenda Magqwaka, Acting General Manager of Human Resources at TPT. She added that TPT’s medium to long term workforce planning and business strategy made provision for building a high end skills pipeline with programs that were customised and considered digital approaches.

The programs are namely Engineers-In-Training, Technicians-In-Training, Freight Handling Learnership, Business Administration Learnership and the Young Professionals in Training – a support services program which complements the technical skills.

Some of these were scheduled for a 12-month period while some extended to 36 months, producing competent professionals – many with the possibility of being absorbed permanently as employees. As it served as on-the-job-training, candidates were remunerated for the duration of their contract with TPT.

According to Magqwaka, being a responsible corporate citizen meant TPT had a role to play in building South Africa. “While we are not always able to absorb all resources upon the completion of their training, the candidates leave TPT better equipped and exposed to real and competitive work experience that they are able to pursue opportunities elsewhere,” she said.

The total training budget generally and the youth training budget at TPT continued to be on an upward trajectory, further underscoring TPT’s commitment to upskilling their staff members in order to ready them for the future.

This is in line with digital approaches hinted by the forth industrial revolution which TPT is operating.

TPT advertises opportunities for candidates with a national diploma or degree in an identified discipline on the Transnet website under the careers portal at three intervals annually – February to March, April to July and then again September to December.

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RWANDA NEEDS US$1.3 BILLION TO BUILD STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY LINKING WITH TANZANIA

Tanzanian rail routes, including main line to Isaka, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tanzanian rail routes, including main line to Isaka

In a clear indication as to where Rwanda sees its future trade route to a sea port, it has been announced that the landlocked central/east African country requires US$1.3 billion to connect with a standard gauge railway (SGR) coming from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

It had always been thought that Rwanda would construct a SGR to connect with its northern neighbour and thereby to the Kenyan port of Mombasa. But this appears to have fallen into disfavour with the confirmation that the Dar es Salaam link remains the favourite.

This was revealed earlier this week by a senior Rwandan government official when he…

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SA CITRUS EXPORTS TO CHINA COMMENCE WITH ARRIVAL AT SHANGHAI

The Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal from which Baltic Summer sailed with the first citrus shipment for China, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal from which Baltic Summer sailed with the first citrus shipment for China

A shipment of 5,200 tons of citrus in a breakbulk vessel has arrived at Shanghai Port in the People’s Republic of China.

The BALTIC SUMMER reefer vessel carrying citrus from South Africa to the People’s Republic of China arrived at the Port of Shanghai on Monday (10 June 2019).

Baltic Summer departed from Durban with this shipment on 6 May, which was loaded at the Maydon Wharf citrus terminal in Durban.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the reefer vessel was cleared upon arrival in Shanghai without any sanitary and phytosanitary challenges.

Greeting the vessel’s arrival was the South African Consul General, Mpho Hlahla, and the department’s attaché to the People’s Republic of China, Mashudu Silimela.

Baltic Summer. Picture: MarineTraffic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Baltic Summer.     Picture: MarineTraffic

Silimela and the team in Plant Health and Inspection Services Directorates played a significant role in the negotiations for the use of breakbulk vessels instead of containers.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has congratulated the department for the successful negotiations that resulted in the approval of breakbulk vessel shipments. She also thanked all parties and the industries that were involved throughout the process since its inception in 2006.

“This signals growth to the South African citrus industry in South Africa and will result in the creation of more jobs,” the minister said. Didiza added that she thought the use of breakbulk vessels at the port will help clear the container congestion at the port “due to some challenges currently experienced.” source: SAnews.gov.za

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EAST LONDON SCHOOL GIRLS WELCOMED INTO PORT

Girls from various local schools were hosted at the Port of East London on 6 June for the port’s observation of Take a Girl Child to Work Day. Highlights included a tour of a harbour tug and a boat cruise courtesy of Southern Cross Cruises, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Girls from various local schools were hosted at the Port of East London on 6 June for the port’s observation of Take a Girl Child to Work Day. Highlights included a tour of a harbour tug and a boat cruise courtesy of Southern Cross Cruises

On 6 June it was the turn of Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of East London to host girls for this year’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day initiative.

Nationally TNPA has responded to the call to make this year’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day about #MoreThanADay, with the port authority’s head office and eight ports hosting girls in May and June.

Programmes have already been hosted by TNPA’s head office in Johannesburg and the Ports of…

Girls from various local schools were hosted at the Port of East London on 6 June for the port’s observation of Take a Girl Child to Work Day. Highlights included a tour of a harbour tug and a boat cruise courtesy of Southern Cross Cruises, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Girls from various local schools were hosted at the Port of East London on 6 June for the port’s observation of Take a Girl Child to Work Day. Highlights included a tour of a harbour tug and a boat cruise courtesy of Southern Cross Cruises

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INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER OF CAPE VERDE COAST GUARD

Cape Verde Islands featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cape Verde Islands

This interview with Captain Pedro Querido Santana, commander of the Cape Verde Coast Guard, comes in advance of the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference on 23-25 July 2019 at the Kempinski Gold Coast in Accra, Ghana. Attending this conference are more than 15 chiefs of naval staff from around Africa and internationally.

The conference is being held to commemorate the Ghanaian Navy’s 60th anniversary.

Captain Santana (pictured below), is one of the speakers at the event in Accra.

Captain Santana, please tell us about yourself, your current role as the commander of Cape Verde’s Coast Guard, and what are the key mandates of Cape Verde’s Coast Guard?

My name is Pedro Querido Santana, Cape Verde’s Coast Guard Commander since 2016. I am a naval officer, trained at the Naval School of Portugal. My career was mostly in the Cape Verde Coast Guard vessels, I went through all stages, as a ship officer, chief of services, and then commander of several ships.

The Cape Verde archipelago is 4,033 square kilometres in size, with approximately 1,020 km of coastline, and a 734 km2 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), including an area of about of 645,000 km2 subject to Search and Rescue operations, making Cape Verde a maritime nation. Therefore, the purpose of my mandate is:

1- To ensure the fulfilment of the missions of the Cape Verde Coast Guard (GCCV) in an effective and economical way;
2- Consolidate the GCCV as a body of the Maritime Authority and an essential partner for the State of Cape Verde’s action at sea;
3- Strengthen the Coast Guard’s structural optimization;
4- Continue to build the capabilities of the GCCV according to the possibilities of the country.

What are you looking forward to with the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC)? Specifically, what is the value added by IMDEC?

What matters to us in the area of maritime safety is to expand our maritime patrols, make them more affordable economically and in this case acquiring new technologies to help us achieving this goal. These conferences are particularly important so that we can learn about the new technologies and the help they can offer us in maritime domain awareness (MDA). The value of IMDEC, is the interesting merger that was carried out between the Ghanaian Navy’s birthday and the fair.

A key focus of the event is to enhance maritime security and stability within the Gulf of Guinea. What are the key initiatives, exercises and/or programs in the region that you believe are best aiding maritime security?

The major initiatives are the exercises and operations combined between different countries of the Gulf of Guinea. In terms of military drill, we have at least two important exercises that are carried out each year, the OBANGAME EXPRESS and the GRAND NEMO. These are important initiatives that allow Gulf countries to work with each other and to work with international partners.

Other important initiatives are the combined operations carried out like the patrols in zone D of the Yaoundé architecture which is working very well with results in practice. Another is the fishing operations carried out by the sub-regional Fisheries Commission which has worked with excellent results.

How do you foresee the regions’ nations working together to curb illegal activities in the Gulf of Guinea? What are the challenges and requirements to improve regional coordination in the maritime domain?

Captain Pedro Querido Santana, Cape Verde Coast Guard, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Captain Pedro Querido Santana, Cape Verde Coast Guard

Patrol activities are costly, so countries will need a very large economic effort to sponsor these patrols. Also, transnational crimes know no borders. These two reasons are more than sufficient for countries to work together to improve maritime safety.

In order to improve coordination in the field of maritime safety, it is necessary, firstly, for the countries of the Gulf of Guinea to invest heavily in the maritime field. All money put into safety at sea is not a loss, it is an investment for the future. Investment in naval assets, human resources and marine support infrastructures.

The main problems facing the Gulf of Guinea are the poor effectiveness to perform maintenance of the ships and this causes operational problems. We will need and a considerable investment in advanced equipment (technology transfer) and training of personnel.

Define the increasing importance of interagency (including navies, coast guards, marine police, customs and ports) collaboration in securing regional seas? How has Cape Verde’s Coast Guard spearheaded these joint operations within your EEZ?

One of the four strategic objectives of the Coast Guard is ‘To consolidate the Coast Guard as an organ of the Maritime Authority and an essential partner for the action of the State of Cape Verde at sea’. Within this strategic objective, we set out four annual objectives, the first being the Increasing of Interagency Maritime Patrols.

For example, the Coast Guard on its patrol in the waters under its jurisdiction carries onboard elements of other law enforcement agencies at sea such as the maritime police, fisheries inspectors and members of the judicial police. This collaboration and information sharing between agencies is the key to success in maritime safety and security.

What recommendations would you give suppliers hoping to aid maritime stakeholders in Cape Verde and West Africa as a whole?

There is a Chinese proverb that says “do not give them fish, teach them to fish”. Our partners should help our countries build capacities (capacity building) so that we can solve our problems ourselves. The problems of maritime safety in Africa should be solved by our countries and not wait for others to solve our problems, they can help.

My recommendation is that our partners support combined and joint patrolling initiatives. Countries should present their joint and combined patrol plans and seek solutions to sponsor these patrols.

In your opinion, which are the key maritime technologies and systems introduced that best increase maritime security?

There are several technologies introduced that have extended maritime safety such as coastal RADARS, drones, Automatic Identification System (AIS), Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) etc.

About Captain Pedro Querido Santana

Captain Santana graduated from the Portuguese Naval Academy in 1997 and holds a Degree in Naval Military Sciences. He completed the Navigation Course to Officer of the Bridge, Naval Academy, Portugal in 1996 and has since completed a number of other course including Head of Maritime Missions, Sub Regional Fisheries Commissions, The Gambia, 2000; Improvement in SAR operations, CITAN, Portugal, 2002; Improvement in Fisheries Surveillance – Part I and II, CITAN, Portugal, 2002. He joined the Next Generation of African Security Sector Leaders, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Washington, 2013 and pursued Post Higher Education at Junior Staff College, IESM, Portugal, 2008 Senior Staff College, ESG, Angola, 2014.

* See related interview with Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy CLICK HERE

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DHL e-COMMERCE PLATFORM ROLLED OUT TO ANOTHER NINE AFRICAN COUNTRIES

DHL ecommerce banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Following the success of the DHL Africa eShop app* in 11 sub-Saharan African countries, DHL Express has followed up by rolling out its innovative mobile and desktop platform to another nine more countries across the continent.

Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, based in Cape Town, says that they’ve seen impressive growth in usage of the DHL Africa eShop app since it was initially brought online in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Malawi, Botswana, Sierra Leone and Uganda in April this year.

“The uptake and usage of this platform over the past seven weeks has been…

* www.africa-eShop.dhl/

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AFRICAN ENERGY CHAMBER TO HOST EQUATORIAL GUINEA LICENSING ROUNDS IN CHINA

African Energy Chamber banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The African Energy Chamber has announced it will host an investment forum in Beijing on 2-3 July 2019, with a focus on giving Chinese and Asian investors access to Equatorial Guinea’s EG Ronda 2019 Licensing Rounds for oil and gas and mining.

The forum will be held at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea launched its first-ever mining licensing round, as well as the 2019 oil and gas licensing round in the country. These rounds are…

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GETTING THEIR HANDS DIRTY, PORT STAKEHOLDER CLEAN MAYDON WHARF

TNPA Port of Durban employees were among a 130-strong team of volunteer stakeholders who tackled pollution in the Maydon Wharf precinct on Friday 7 June to mark World Environment Day, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
TNPA Port of Durban employees were among a 130-strong team of volunteer stakeholders who tackled pollution in the Maydon Wharf precinct on Friday 7 June to mark World Environment Day

TNPA’s Port of Durban collaborated with local stakeholders to tackle pollution in the Maydon Wharf precinct at the Port of Durban on Friday 7 June, in recognition of World Environment Day. The day is observed globally every year on 5 June.

Volunteers took to the wharf side, commonage and streets in Maydon Wharf to pick up and properly dispose of waste, and to ensure that recyclable materials such as plastic are separated, in order to reduce waste in the area.

Stakeholders from TATA Chemicals, Ocean Africa, South African Bulk Terminal (SABT), Bidvest Tank Terminals, Profert, Layishazonke, Bidfreight Port Operations (BPO), South African Sugar Association and Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC) joined Port of Durban employees during the clean-up to form a 130-strong group.

TNPA Port of Durban employees were among a 130-strong team of volunteer stakeholders who tackled pollution in the Maydon Wharf precinct on Friday 7 June to mark World Environment Day, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The theme for World Environment Day this year is ‘Beat Air Pollution’, and this event provided an opportunity for stakeholders to note the impact of port operations on air quality in the port and surrounding areas.

eThekwini Municipality’s Air Quality Specialist, Modise Molefe, brought volunteers up to speed on air pollution issues and measures that can be put in place to address them.

“While some pollutants such as SO2 emissions from vessels cannot be controlled by local stakeholders – there are ways in which other kinds of air pollution can be managed,” said Environmental Manager, Simphiwe Mazibuko.

“This year’s clean-up sought to educate those who work in the port environment about steps that can be taken to manage contributors to poor air quality, such as improper management of dry bulk cargo and trucking operations in and around the port.”

The event was also used as a platform for employees to showcase their creative talents in terms of transforming recyclables into useful products such as décor and jewellery.

The Port of Durban also used the occasion to launch environmental awareness signage in spots that have been adopted by tenants in the precinct, ensuring that caring for the environment is top of mind for all who travel through Maydon Wharf.

TNPA Port of Durban employees were among a 130-strong team of volunteer stakeholders who tackled pollution in the Maydon Wharf precinct on Friday 7 June to mark World Environment Day, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

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EMBRACE DIGITALISATION TO PROSPER, SYNERGY GROUP CEO TELLS SHIPPING INDUSTRY

LPG carrier Trammo Dietlin, first ship in the world to be awarded Lloyd’s Register’s cyber AL-SAFE [‘autonomous level safe’] notation. Read story below, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
LPG carrier Trammo Dietlin, first ship in the world to be awarded Lloyd’s Register’s cyber AL-SAFE [‘autonomous level safe’] notation.    Read story below

Technology will unlock the maritime sector’s true potential

The shipping industry must cast off its conservatism and commit to harnessing the operational, financial and environmental benefits new technologies can yield.

That’s the view of Captain Rajesh Unni, CEO and Founder of Singapore-based Synergy Group, one of the world’s top shipmanagers.

“Shipping has been conservative for far too long,” he said. “It is time for us to welcome change and emerge from the shadows. Technology unlocks potential, but the digital world and digital shipping must be embraced.”

Capt Rajesh Unni, CEO of Synergy Group, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Captain Unni (left) also serves as CEO Alpha Ori Technologies (AOT), established in 2017 to help the maritime sector address many of these challenges. Critical to AOT’s portfolio is SMARTShip, an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that enables the onboard operation of multiple systems with varying degrees of autonomy.

“AOT has already rolled out 30 SMARTShips and has another 60 in the pipeline at various stages of the set-up process,” said Captain Unni.

He believes most shipping companies are risk averse and, as a result, are failing to benefit from the commercial and operational gains now possible through the integration of new technologies, both on ships and ashore.

“Technology is already redefining our industry,” he said. “IoT, Machine Learning and Cloud-based Big Data science are revolutionising shipping and shipmanagement processes. They can yield…

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SOUTH AFRICAN PORT STATISTICS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY ARE NOW AVAILABLE

Containership (MSC Savannah) at the port of Ngqura, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Containership (MSC Savannah) at the port of Ngqura

Port statistics for the month of May 2019, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

Leading three ports by way of cargo throughput measured in tonnes remained Richards Bay, followed by Durban and then Saldanha Bay. However, Saldanha enjoyed a ‘big’ month surpassing seven million tonnes of cargo thus indicating good exports of iron ore for the month.

Details of the port throughputs, ships berthed and containers numbers handled can be seen in the Tables below.

Motor Vehicles

For the first time we include details of motor vehicles handled per port, measured in units (CEU). These will include imports and exports as well as earth-moving and other similar ro-ro vehicles.

These statistic reports on Africa PORTS & SHIPS are arrived at using an adjustment on the overall tonnage compared to those kindly provided by TNPA and include containers recorded by weight; an adjustment necessary because TNPA measures containers by the number of TEUs and does not reflect the weight which unfortunately undervalues the ports.

To arrive at such a calculation,  Africa PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13.5 tonnes per TEU, which probably does involve some under-reporting.  Africa PORTS & SHIPS  will continue to emphasise this distinction, without which South African ports would be seriously under-reported internationally and locally.

Port Statistics continue below…

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MINISTER MBALULA SAYS HE IS DISAPPOINTED AT ONGOING N3 TRUCKING UNREST

Tanker fire. Picture: YouTube, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
  Tanker fire.     Picture: YouTube

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says he is disappointment at the ongoing trucking industry unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

The unrest [criminality], the department said in a statement on Sunday, continues despite government intervention in the long-standing impasse.

Last week, an inter-ministerial team of ministers met with stakeholders for three days to address the violent attacks and their impact on…

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TRANSNET TAKING GLOBAL LEAD IN FUTURE OF HEAVY HAUL RAILWAYS

That's a 342-wagon train of iron ore crossing the desert of the Northern Cape Transnet SOC Ltd says that it is steaming ahead with its vision of being part of the top five railway companies in the world, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
That’s a 342-wagon train of iron ore crossing the desert of the Northern Cape.
Transnet SOC Ltd says that it is steaming ahead with its vision of being part of the top five railway companies in the world

Transnet SOC Ltd says that it is steaming ahead with its vision of being part of the top five railway companies in the world.

A team of 25 engineers and operations executives led by the Transnet’s Chairperson Dr Popo Molefe, will be flying the South African flag high at International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Conference in Norway this week.

The conference, themed “Heavy Haul 4.0 – Achieving Breakthrough Performance Levels”, started yesterday (Monday) 10 June and runs till 14 June 2019 and will be attended by more than 500 global rail experts and professionals. The Transnet team under the leadership of IHHA’s global chairman Mr Brian Monakali, will be among the 180 technical experts to present papers on technological advancement on the competitiveness of heavy haul rail operations. Monakali is also a General Manager at Transnet Freight Rail.

“Despite recent challenges at Transnet related to malfeasance, the organisation remains a solid business, which is an anchor to our country’s economy,” says Molefe. “The IHHA Conference in Norway is a great opportunity for Transnet and South Africa to showcase local technical and technology advancements to the global community. It is also an opportunity for us to learn the latest best practices from our global counterparts.”

Nearing its destination, the iron ore port at Saldanha is another long heavy-haul TFR train, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nearing its destination, the iron ore port at Saldanha is another long heavy-haul TFR train

South African context

The technical papers will also reflect on the competitiveness of the South African heavy haul rail operations operated by Transnet, a state-owned company.

The platform will provide these experts an opportunity to share and exchange knowledge and experience with other country-members of IHHA such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US.

As one of the key players, Transnet, which operates more than 30,000 kilometres of rail network across the country, holds a record of the longest production train in the world. The four-kilometre production train which runs from the Sishen in the Northern Cape to Saldanha, Western Cape, transports iron ore by using trains of 342 wagon length.

375-wagon manganese train

Transnet has recently broken its own record by testing a 375-wagon manganese train representing a production train with the highest number of wagons in the world. The successful testing of the 375-wagon train is informed by an increase in the production of manganese in South Africa.

Transnet’s share of manganese grew from 9.6 million tons in 2016/17 to 14.01 million tons in 2018/19.

“As Transnet we remain inspired to be part of the global rail community and we are excited to share our knowledge on the matter. Our participation, especially on the level of chairmanship illustrates that the international rail community recognises Transnet’s strengths on rail operations,” said Monakali.

Next step

Now that the association has developed a common global vision for 2030, the next step would be to move towards implementation, including identifying areas of strategic research to be undertaken at various railway organisations, research institutions and universities in different countries, Monakali said.

More information on this week’s Norway IHHA Conference can be found by CLICKING HERE

Destination reached. A Cape-sized bulker loads iron ore from the Saldanha terminal. Picture by Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Destination reached. A Cape-sized bulker loads iron ore from the Saldanha terminal.     Picture by Terry Hutson

 

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IMO VENUE FOR GULF OF GUINEA SECURITY CONFERENCE

Gulf of Guinea conference being held this week in Lonodn at the IMO. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Highlighting continuing danger to seafarers

The London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was the venue for a day-long symposium on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

The event, co-sponsored by BIMCO, IMCA, ICS, ITF and OCIMF, featured speakers from regional maritime agencies as well as shipping officials, academics and military staff. The shipping industry, and seafarer groups, organised the event to highlight the continuing danger to seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea.

Opening the day, Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Chair of the UK Shipping Defence Advisory Committee and Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime said: “Simply put, the…

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NGQURA TUG SHASA COMPLETES SERVICE AT EAST LONDON DRY DOCK

Tug SHASA getting a facelift in the Princess Elizabeth Graving Dock in the Port of East London. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tug SHASA getting a facelift in the Princess Elizabeth Graving Dock in the Port of East London.    Picture: TNPA

The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) tug SHASA, the first tugboat delivered to the then new Port of Ngqura, has returned home after her fifth bi-annual service in the Princess Elizabeth Graving Dock in the Port of East London.

Delivered in 2009 from the Southern Africa Shipyards in Durban, the 10-year old tug was the first of two 70-ton bollard pull Voith tugs to arrive in the Port of Ngqura, followed by the second tug named ORCA in 2010 and the third named LIZIBUKO, also in 2010.

Safety first

This South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) regulated service is required every two years to ensure the vessel’s integrity. It entails the removal of old paint and the repainting of the vessel’s hull, the replacement of anodes which protect it against corrosion and a SAMSA inspection to ensure safe operations….

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NORMANDY FINALE IN PICTURES

We show here a selection of captioned photographs kindly provided by the US Navy News Service during the week in which the Allies commemorated the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy.

Two days before the D-Day Commemorations were held in Normandy, on 4 June a monument was dedicated to US Navy Sailors who fought in the invasion there 75 years before. More than 1,000 sailors laid down their lives for others in the supreme sacrifice. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Villegas/Released. USN ©

On 6 June Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith, left, and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson visited the Normandy American Cemetery on the day marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast during the Second World War. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Villegas/Released.USN ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

On 6 June Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith, left, and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson visited the Normandy American Cemetery on the day marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast during the Second World War. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Villegas/Released.USN ©.

on 6 June Chief of (US) Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson attended the French Commando Ceremony at Colleville-Montgomery, Normandy, led by heads of navy from France, the UK, Norway, Australia, Canada, and the US. During week commencing 2 June Richardson travelled to Normandy and London to participate in the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the HM the Queen’s Birthday Parade. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Nick Brown/Released. USN ©. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Also on 6 June Chief of (US) Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson attended the French Commando Ceremony at Colleville-Montgomery, Normandy, led by heads of navy from France, the UK, Norway, Australia, Canada, and the US.
During week commencing 2 June Richardson travelled to Normandy and London to participate in the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the HM the Queen’s Birthday Parade. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Nick Brown/Released. USN ©.

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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SOUTH AFRICA OBSERVES WORLD OCEANS DAY

Oceans of pollution, featred in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Oceans of pollution.    Picture : YouTube

South Africa has joined the global community in celebrating the annual World Oceans Day on Saturday – which raised awareness of the role of the oceans and the importance of conserving and protecting the country’s marine environment.

The day in South Africa also coincided with the declaration of a network of 20 new representative Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – which is an important step in the protection of the ocean environment.

The network of 20 new MPAs increases the…

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TRANSNET PROVISIONALLY LIFTS BAN ON FISHING, COMMERCIAL DIVING IN DURBAN BAY

Durban Marina after the Easter floods earlier this year, Similar scenes were repeated iduring May
Wilson’s Wharf Marina after the Easter floods earlier this year, Similar scenes were repeated invarious parts of the bay  after heavy rains in May, but made worse from an overflow of sewage

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has provisionally lifted its suspension of fishing, commercial diving and other marine activities in the Port of Durban which had been applied after sewage was discovered flowing into the port from the eThekwini Municipality’s sewer reticulation system.

Harbour Master at the Port of Durban, Captain Sabelo Mdlalose, said TNPA and the eThekwini Municipality had been working tirelessly to restore safety to the port waters.

“Marine water quality in the Port of Durban has substantially improved, although water quality in some areas of the port remains compromised,” he said.

He called on all port users to exercise care when making contact with port waters, especially in areas within close proximity of stormwater outfalls and canals.

“Despite the stoppage of the sewage outflow from the Mahatma Gandhi Pump Station, blockages within the eThekwini Municipality’s sewage reticulation network are a common occurrence which can result in the discharge of sewage into the stormwater system leading into the port,” he said.

Captain Mdlalose said TNPA would not be held liable in the event of any loss or damages incurred by anybody choosing to make contact with port waters before TNPA declared port waters as fully safe.

Port-wide water quality monitoring commissioned by TNPA and conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on 10, 20, 24 and 31 May indicated that faecal contamination in the port is decreasing.

Further testing will take place in the coming days.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE COMMANDER OF THE GHANA NAVY, REAR ADMIRAL SETH AMOMOA

Throughout his career, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy has held several positions including Military Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff and later the Commandant of the Ghana Armed Forces Command & Staff College.

Rear Admiral Seth Amoama Ghanaian Navy
Rear Admiral Seth Amoama Ghanaian Navy

Under his patronage, during the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC) taking place 24-25 July 2019 at the Kempinski Gold Coast in Accra, Ghana will feature a two-day strategic gathering of global maritime leaders and Africa’s Chiefs of Naval Staff as they commemorate Ghana’s 60 years of Naval excellence.

The event will focus on the increasingly volatile maritime threats of the region and the collective strategies and resources necessary to combat them. During this interview he addresses some of these issues:

Please tell us about yourself, your current role as the commander of the Ghana Navy, and what are the key mandates of the Ghanaian Naval Force?

“I am the 17th Chief of the Naval staff and today I’m excited and feel highly honoured to lead and represent the Ghana Navy as it celebrates 60 years of Naval excellence. As chief of the naval staff I’m responsible through the minister of defence to the…

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UPDATE ON THE MISSING FISHING CRAFT OFF SOUTHERN CAPE

Missing fishing vessel washed up, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Washed-up fishing vessel. Picture: NSRI Simonstown Station 10

On Friday we reported of a widescale search at sea for two missing fishing craft that were caught in deteriorating weather conditions. That report is HERE

One of the fishing boats was found and two of the three of those aboard are safe but the third sadly passed away from his ordeal of being lost at sea.

A second small inflatable boat which went out to help search for the first was also…

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D-DAY 75 COMMEMORATION 1944-2019

Normandy Thursday: All services were well represented in the D-Day commemoration events of 6 June 2019. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 © featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Normandy, Thursday: All services were well represented in the D-Day commemoration events of 6 June 2019. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

Normandy 6 June

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, Allied Forces launched a combined naval, air and land assault on Nazi-occupied France. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches marked the start of a long and costly campaign to liberate NW Europe from Nazi occupation.

Early on 6 June Allied airborne forces parachuted into drop zones across northern France. Gliders towed by bombers and transport aircraft were also used to convey troops and equipment. Ground troops then landed across five assault beaches named: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. By the end of the day, the Allies had established a foothold along the coast and could begin their advance into France. In all the assault involved nearly 160,000 troops being landed.

An Allied coalition delivered success, although the word coalition was not used at the time, here was an Allied Expeditionary Force. In the Normandy invasion 14 Allied nations took part: the UK, the US, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg, Poland, Norway and Greece. Forces from other nations of the Commonwealth also took part.

It must be remembered that at the time of D-Day invasion Allied forces were still fighting in Italy, Burma and in the Pacific with a U-boat menace in every ocean. By June 1944 the war had nearly a year to run to victory for V-E Day was not until 8 May 1945. More than a year would elapse until the Japanese were defeated with V-J Day being on 15 August 1945.

The naval component

In the region of 7,000 warships, including battleships, destroyers, minesweepers, escorts and assault craft took part in Operation Neptune, the naval part of Operation Overlord.

Here Allied naval forces escorted landing craft to the beaches. Warships carried out bombardments on enemy coastal installations in advance and during the landings. Naval gunfire provided invaluable support for the invading troops.

Remembrance Service

On 6 June this year the Royal British Legion’s Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Bayeux was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister with service chiefs and veterans.

This event saw a tri-service Guard of Honour supported by a military band; a procession of Royal British Legion Standards; a short parade of veterans; a religious service; and the laying of wreaths at the Cross.

Bayeux was the first town liberated by the allied forces after D-Day.

A useful brochure on the British D-Day commemoration is now available from the Ministry of Defence part of the Government website CLICK HERE:

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

Normandy, Thursday: During the Royal British Legion’s Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Bayeux, there was a flypast of a Dakota and a Spitfire bearing the Overlord stripes worn by all Allied aircraft during the invasion. Picture: MoD Crown Copright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Normandy, Thursday: During the Royal British Legion’s Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Bayeux, there was a flypast of a Dakota and a Spitfire bearing the Overlord stripes worn by all Allied aircraft during the invasion. Picture: MoD Crown Copright 2019 ©

 

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NEW GREEN IN-WATER HULL CLEANING TECHNOLOGY CAN CREATE LOCAL JOBS

mobile in-water hull cleaning technology developed, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Twister Vacu-Cart and Reclaim System is highly mobile

New environmental regulations to stop the translocation of alien species from fouling South African harbours comes with an added benefit – new technology and new jobs.

This is the view of John Kennedy, a US entrepreneur and partner in South African maritime technology company Schomberg, that has co-developed a unique hull cleaning machine, a vacuum cart, that could revolutionise the shipping industry. The vacu-cart can be controlled by a diver or operated remotely.

Kennedy was reacting to the announcement by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) that in future permit holding companies will be allowed to clean the hulls of ships while vessels are berthed in local ports. See TNPA PORTS TO USHER IN IN-WATER HULL CLEANING

Advances in technology allows companies to combat biofouling during the cleaning of hulls by using in-water hull-cleaning services.

Schomberg has plans to manufacture under license the Twister Vacu-Cart and Reclaim System in Durban, “creating much needed employment” Kennedy said.

close upo of the Twister vacu-cart hull cleaning system
close-up of the system

The Twister Vacu-Cart and Reclaim System is the product of five years of research and development in three countries and meets International Maritime Organization environmental regulations.

Kennedy, a philanthropist with strong roots in KwaZulu-Natal and MIT lecturer in his home city of Boston in the US, applauded the TNPA decision to reintroduce in-water hull cleaning in SA ports, as a commitment to protecting the marine environment.

Many countries have been concerned about the threat biofouling poses to marine ecosystems. Marine organisms, like barnacles and mussels, that attach themselves to hulls of ships are bad for the environment by slowing down ships, increasing the carbon footprint of vessels and putting local marine life at risk when these organisms are cleaned off the hulls of ships in distant ports.

He says his team has developed a unique and environmentally friendly approach to underwater hull cleaning that ensures minimal ecological impact. He believes the Twister Vacu-Cart and Reclaim System would have appeal to all ship owners and ports internationally.

The cleaning and capture system transfers the captured debris to the surface where it goes through an internationally certified filtration process to eliminate and neutralise the Alien Invasive Species (AIS) before the filtered water is discharged back into the sea. The solid debris is disposed of at registered landfill sites.

For further information: Mark Geyser (Schomberg) +27 82 552 5073

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ROSY FUTURE PREDICTED FOR TANZANIA’S LAKES VICTORIA AND TANGANYIKA

Lake Victoria's best-known lake ship, mv VICTORIA seen here at the port of Mwanza, featured in article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lake Victoria’s best-known lake ship, mv VICTORIA seen here at the port of Mwanza

Waterborne trade on Africa’s Great Lakes is seeing a turnaround with increased volumes and similar improvement in revenue.

On Lake Victoria the Tanzanian southern port of Mwanza has seen cargo volumes increase from 84,615 tonnes handled in the 2017/18 financial year to 146,287 tonnes during the 10 months between July 2018 and May 2019, a 72% increase.

Revenue collected during this period rose to Sh1.138 billion (US$493,664) according to the Tanzanian newspaper Citizen quoting…

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AU FORGES AHEAD WITH AfCFTA OPERATIONAL PHASE

South Africa's new Trade & Industry minister Ebrahim Patel, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
South Africa’s new Trade & Industry minister Ebrahim Patel

The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) can be a game-changer for the local economy, providing a massive market for South African goods and services, says newly appointed Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel.

“If we can get the institutions and infrastructure right and build a deep business and social partnership in South Africa, the AfCFTA can add many billions of rands to the GDP, create large numbers of new industrial jobs, attract and expand investment and strengthen the economy,” Patel said.

He noted that exports to the rest of the continent already account for…

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ANGOLA LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER MARGINAL FIELDS BIDDING ROUND

In yesterday’s News we carried a story that Angola has stepped up efforts to becoming Africa’s hottest oil & gas frontier by launching the first phase of its new six-year oil licensing strategy.

Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço

The new licensing round covers It covers a total of 10 blocks in the Namibe Basin and one block in the Benguela Basin.

This is not the only landmark bidding to be launched in Angola this year. The National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) is also launching Angola’s first-ever Marginal Fields Bidding Round, which is…

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LARGE-SCALE SEARCH FOR TWO MISSING FISHING BOATS OFF WESTERN CAPE

Missing fishing vessel washed up, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Washed-up fishing vessel. Picture: NSRI Simonstown Station 10

A media release issued by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has revealed a large-scale search taking place along the Western Cape for two small fishing craft carrying five men.

The search so far has involved several NSRI stations on the West Cape coast, the airborne sea rescue unit, the South African Air Force, a SA Navy submarine, shipping at sea, coastwatchers on the shore and other authorities and individuals.

The one search was for an open rigid inflatable boat in False Bay with three men on board. Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander reports:

At 17h03, Tuesday 4 June, NSRI Simonstown duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of three local fishermen on a small open rigid inflatable boat adrift in False Bay with motor mechanical failure. The fishermen estimated that they were between Smitswinkel Bay and Pringle Bay and that they had been drifting without motor power since earlier in the day while fishing in the Cape Point area when their motor failed, reportedly on Tuesday morning.

Shortly after the three fishermen had raised the alarm cellphone contact and any means of communications with the fishermen was lost.

A colleague of theirs, and the owner of a White and Blue rigid inflatable boat in the Strand, informed NSRI that earlier, at 12h00, Tuesday 4 June, two local men had launched his boat at Harbour Island, Gordons Bay, to go to the aid of the three fishermen who were adrift in False Bay. They have not returned.

Our NSRI Simonstown sea rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III and Spirit of Surfski II were launched to begin a search and our sea rescue [land] vehicle responded to a height above Simonstown to look-out, our NSRI coast watchers were activated to keep a look-out and TNPA activated NSRI Kommetjie who dispatched their sea rescue vehicle to Cape Point to assist with communications and shoreline patrols.

More NSRI stations activated

NSRI Gordons Bay, NSRI Strandfontein, NSRI Kleinmond and NSRI Hout Bay were activated.

NSRI Hout Bay dispatched the sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer and NSRI Gordons Bay dispatched the sea rescue craft Jack & Irene. NSRI Strandfontein, NSRI Gordons Bay and NSRI Kleinmond dispatched their sea rescue vehicles to cover a shoreline search.

A cold front, strong winds and heavy sea conditions, with up to 6.5 metre swells affected the Cape coastline on Tuesday.

MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) assisted NSRI commanders plotting and coordinating search patterns and the SA Air Force and NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) were placed on alert.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert for vessels in the False Bay area and beyond False Bay to keep a look out for the boat adrift with three fishermen on the one boat and for the White and Blue 5.5 metre RIB with two fishermen on the second boat.

SA Navy and SAAF join the search

Ships at sea in the False Bay area kept a look-out and two fishing vessels assisted in a search and the SA Navy submarine SAS MANTHATISI conducted a surface water search between Cape Point and Simonstown.

On Wednesday morning NSRI Hermanus, NSRI ASR and the SA Air Force 22 Squadron joined the search.

NSRI Hermanus launched the sea rescue craft South Star and their sea rescue vehicle responded to conduct shoreline patrols and two SA Air Force helicopters, an Oryx and a Lynx, from 22 Squadron flew search patterns.

Boat adrift

During an extensive ongoing search and rescue operation eye-witnesses, on Wednesday afternoon, in Sandbaai, between Onrus and Hermanus, reported a boat appearing to be adrift and approaching the backline breaking waves and looking like the boat would run aground at Sandbaai.

NSRI Hermanus, WC Government Health EMS, EMR ambulance services, the SA Police Services and an SA Air Force helicopter responded to investigate and on arrival on the scene it was found to be the missing fishing boat (with the three fishermen) and the boat had capsized in the waves at Sandbaai and washed ashore and the three fishermen had washed ashore.

NSRI medics and EMS paramedics conducted extensive CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts on one of the fisherman but sadly [despite] all efforts to resuscitate the man he was declared deceased by paramedics.

Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

Survivors

The two survivors were medically treated by paramedics on the scene for hypothermia and they have been transported to hospital by ambulance in serious but stable conditions and are expected to make full recoveries.

MRCC is continuing to coordinate a search and rescue operation for the two local men on the White and Blue 5.5 metre rigid inflatable boat that launched at Harbour Island on Tuesday 4 June, at approximately midday.

NSRI Simonstown, NSRI Strandfontein, NSRI Gordons Bay, NSRI Kleinmond, the EMS/AMS Skymed Rescue helicopter, the SA Police Services and Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services dive unit are engaged in an ongoing search and local neighbourhood watches and Law Enforcement have been requested to keep a look-out.

NSRI are informed that this boat and her two crew did not rendezvous with the three fishermen in False Bay on Tuesday.

All ships alert

An all ships alert is being broadcast by Telkom Maritime Radio Services for vessels in the False Bay area to keep a look-out.

NSRI commend the ships at sea, fishing vessels and private boats that are keeping a lookout and we appeal to the public along the False Bay coastline and Hermanus and beyond Hermanus to keep a lookout for the two fishermen on the White and Blue RIB.

Thoughts are with the families of the two missing men in this difficult time.

  • report by NSRI Simonstown station commander Darren Zimmerman

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PORTSMOUTH AND D-DAY 75 COMMEMORATION 1944-2019

The Royal British Legion’s chartered vessel Boudicca with 300 veterans of the original landings on board seen here outward bound from Portsmouth to Normandy flanked by warship escorts. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The Royal British Legion’s chartered vessel Boudicca with 300 veterans of the original landings on board seen here outward bound from Portsmouth to Normandy flanked by warship escorts. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

On 5 June the City of Portsmouth paid tribute to Normandy veterans in the presence of HM the Queen, world leaders, the general public and the Armed Forces.

At an international event on Southsea Common, an audience of veterans, military, senior figures and local residents watched an hour-long performance telling the story of D-Day and the meticulous planning by Allied forces that paved the way for the invasion of Normandy.

HM the Queen paid tribute to those who took part and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the largest armada the world had ever seen. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
HM the Queen paid tribute to those who took part and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the largest armada the world had ever seen. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©

The event featured testimony from veterans, theatrical performances and live music culminating in a flypast of 24 aircraft including the Red Arrows and the iconic Spitfire.

Veterans then enjoyed a reception where they met world leaders in person before the majority were transferred to mv BOUDICCA chartered by the Royal British Legion.

By the end of 5 June in France, troops had already arrived with 150 from 16 Air Assault Brigade jumping from RAF Hercules aircraft. Amongst those jumping with Red Devils parachute display team were 94-year-old Jock Hutton and 95-year-old Harry Read.

In the early evening Boudicca sailed for France escorted by warships of the Royal Navy with the Prime Minister, the Defence Secretary and the First Sea Lord bidding them farewell from HMS Queen Elizabeth, the biggest ship in the history of the Royal Navy.

More warships lined the intended route of Boudicca into the Channel in commemoration of, and in gratitude for, their voyage 75 years before on 6 June 1944.

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

HM the Queen paid tribute to those who took part and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the largest armada the world had ever seen. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Prime Minister Theresa May, Penny Mordaunt Secretary of State for Defence and the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones seen here with the crew of HMS Queen Elizabeth for the D-Day75 Celebrations as part of tribute to Normandy veterans in the presence of world leaders, the general public and the Armed Forces. Picture: MoD Crown Copyright 2019 © 

 

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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.

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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

Naval News

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

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

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