Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 31 July 2021

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The Sunday masthead shows the Port of Durban’s Island View Terminal
The Monday masthead shows the Port of Durban’s Maydon Wharf
The Tuesday masthead shows the Port of Cape Town Elliott Basin
The Wednesday masthead shows the Port of Cape Town Dry dock
The Thursday masthead shows the Port of Cape Town’s Tanker Basin
The Friday masthead shows the Port of Cape Town Duncan Dock
The Saturday masthead shows the Port of Cape Town




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Amis Wealth entering the port of Durban on 22 July 2021. Pictures are by Keith Betts. featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Amis Wealth entering the port of Durban on 22 July 2021. Pictures are by Keith Betts. featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Amis Wealth entering the port of Durban on 22 July 2021. Pictures are by Keith Betts

The Supramax bulk carrier AMIS WEALTH (IMO 9897896) arrived off Durban on Wednesday 21 July 2021 from Portland in Australia after a journey of 27 days, entering port the following day when photographer Keith Betts was on hand to take these photos.

The 63,111-dwt bulk carrier, 200 metres in length and 32m wide, sails under the flag of Panama and is owned by Elite Steamship SA which is care of Wisdom Marine Lines SA of Taipei City in Taiwan – who are almost certainly the true owners. Wisdom Marine Lines are also the ISM, ship and commercial managers of the vessel, all of the same Taiwan address. The company, founded in 1999, is the largest dry bulk shipowner in Taiwan, with a fleet of 148 vessels.

Launched In March this year from the Japanese Tsuneishi Shipyard this is Amis Wealth’s maiden voyage to South Africa. Note the vessel’s distinctive bow and straight, clean lines – not everyone’s choice for a ship design but with its own attraction.

Pictures are by Keith Betts

Added 25 July 2021


Photographs of shipping and other maritime scenes involving any of the ports of South Africa or from the rest of the African continent, together with a short description, name of ship/s, ports etc are welome.





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DP World invests in fleet of 30 new high-performance tractors for Luanda terminal


DP World Luanda, which holds the concession to operate and manage the Multipurpose Terminal (MPT) at the Port of Luanda in Angola, has acquired a fleet of 30 new high-performance tractors. These form part of its investment to modernise the MPT and further improve operational efficiencies.

The arrival of the tractors follows the start of operations by DP World Luanda, on 1 March 2021, after being awarded a 20-year concession to manage and operate the MPT.

Since then, a number of projects and initiatives have been implemented, as part of DP World’s US$190 million investment over the term of the concession, to transform the terminal into a modern and efficient port facility to help the country achieve its economic growth ambitions.

Staff development and training

These include staff development and training, the implementation of new technology, the acquisition of new equipment and the development of new staff facilities at the terminal.

The tractors, being the latest generation Terberg YT223, have been proven in terminals across the world, and will be used within the yard area of the MPT to move semi-trailers to and from the terminal for loading and unloading.

Featuring a more powerful engine, efficient fingertip controls and smoother suspension, DP World believes these vehicles will prove vital to improving efficiency at the terminal. With the accompanying training programs, employees will benefit from new skillsets as well as improved working, safety, and environmental conditions following the introduction of these vehicles.

In the coming months, DP World Luanda will also receive a range of new equipment that will improve the MPT’s operational capacity and efficiency across the board, including six reach stackers, four empty shipping container handlers, four forklifts as well as new Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTGs) cranes, which will be the first of their kind to be used in Angola.

In total DP World will invest $190 million into the facility over the 20-year period. The company will rehabilitate the existing infrastructure and buy new equipment to boost the efficiency of MPT. The plan also envisages the increase of MPT’s annual throughput to 700,000 TEUs.

Handling both containers and general cargo, the terminal has a quay of 610 metres with a depth of 12.5 metres and a yard of 23 hectares. It will become the first seaport terminal located on the western coast of Southern Africa to be operated and managed by DP World, further extending the company’s footprint in Africa.

Focus on technology and digitalisation

Beyond physical infrastructure and yard equipment, DP World Luanda also has a strong focus on technology and digitalisation to enhance operations and has recently implemented its CARGOES TOS+ (Zodiac) solution, a cloud-based Terminal Operating System (TOS), an integrated platform encompassing all IT and operational systems under one umbrella, providing users with real-time information on vessel, gate, and yard movements.

DP World Luanda also recently launched its 2021 “Grow” program in Angola, which aims to recruit young local graduates into the business as interns, to enable them to gain vital work experience in the trade and logistics sector. These graduates will be rotated through the various departments of the DP World Luanda operations where they will learn functional and broad business skills.

“We have made good progress over the past four months across various areas of our operations, to transform the MPT into a world class facility, to provide our customers with a seamless and efficient service, grow trade and position Luanda as a key trade hub along the western coast of Southern Africa,” says Francisco Pinzón, CEO of DP World Luanda.

Since March, 32 staff training sessions have taken place, with over 300 of the more than 730 staff having already received induction training. In these sessions, the People Department have engaged staff on DP World’s vision, principles, history, and commitment to the local community all with sustainability at the core.

Added 29 July 2021


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DNV backs South East Asia crew change programme

Seafarer gazing out to sea - DNV©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Seafarer gazing out to sea – DNV©

It was announced from Singapore on 28 July that classification society and risk management experts DNV is embarking on an instrumental role in helping to facilitate safe crew changes amid South East Asia’s Covid-19 crisis as an auditor in the alliance-backed CrewSafe programme.

CrewSafe is the creation of the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund Task Force (SFTF).

This was established by the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) and later joined by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

The CrewSafe programme is based on Singapore’s crew change model to establish safe crew change corridors. DNV is one of the appointed auditors for the programme. CrewSafe audits comprise quality checks on quarantine/holding, medical, and swabbing facilities in countries engaged in crew supply.

CrewSafe accreditation will be granted to facilities that successfully pass the audits. DNV has already completed fifteen audits at facilities located in Singapore, the Philippines, and India, it is understood.

The aim is to increase the capacity for owners and managers to bring new crew on board and enable opportunities for on board crew to return home.

In the words of DNV Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen: “DNV is fully supporting and facilitating this programme as seafarers are the true backbone of our global industry.

“Seafarers need to be fully recognized as key workers, and CrewSafe is one such programme assisting crew source nations and fostering a higher level of confidence and quality control checks in the crew change processes.”

Ørbeck-Nilssen added that seafarers play a vital role in world trade and supply chains but he acknowledged that fatigue, despair, depression, and mental health concerns among those at sea are now threatening marine safety.

He continued: “The ongoing crew change crisis shows that international problems need international solutions. CrewSafe is one such initiative DNV is rightly proud to be assisting.”

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, commented: “Singapore takes its responsibility to facilitate safe crew change seriously. We are pleased to welcome DNV on board due to its renowned quality audits and look forward to working with our tripartite partners in ensuring facilities remain safe for crew change amid the pandemic.”

Michael Phoon, SSA Executive Director, concluded by saying: “Many governments around the world are restricting travels to prevent Covid infections in the community. To provide assurance to all crew change stakeholders and facilitate safe crew change, the SG-STAR Fund Task Force initiated the CrewSafe programme.

“We are glad to have the support of DNV to conduct stringent audit checks on holding and medical facilities to ensure that the necessary quarantine and testing requirements can be fully met.”




Reported by Paul Ridgway

Added 29 July 2021


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WHARF TALK: Mini class of bulk carrier – ERKUL S

The small bulk carrier Erkul S that made a welcome call at the port of Cape Town. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS mariitime news
The small attractive bulk carrier Erkul S that made a welcome call at the port of Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

As the ladies say, during a game of bingo, when they raise their arms and shout ‘House’!

Bulk carriers of all shapes and sizes arrive and sail from South African ports continuously. For the restricted or smaller ports such as Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town the types of bulk carrier, that call regularly, are generally classed from Handysize at 25,000 tons and upwards, all the way through Handymax, Supramax and Ultramax at 65,000 tons.

Richards Bay sees them even bigger with the specialised trade bulk carriers from Panamax at 80,000 tons through Kamsarmax, Dunkirkmax and Newcastlemax at 185,000 tons. The Daddy of them all is the Malaccamax at 300,000 tons, often seen at Saldanha Bay.

The accommodation and bridge section of the Turkish mini bulker, Rekul S. Picture by 'Dockrat' featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The accommodation and bridge section of the Turkish mini bulker, Rekul S. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

This leaves just one size of bulk carrier to be seen, and the one that will give the ship spotter a full house. That is the Mini class of bulk carrier. Classified as having a deadweight between 3,000 tons and 24,000 tons, they are often misidentified as general cargo ships. One of the giveaways to their true identity is the fact that they are often likely to have a published container carrying capacity of exactly 0 TEU.

On 25th July at 12h00 the mini bulk carrier ERKUL S (IMO 9177789) arrived at Cape Town from Greenville in Liberia and proceeded directly to the Landing Wall in the Duncan Dock. Any vessel arriving at one of the landing wall berths is likely, though not always, to be there for urgent maintenance, or engineering reasons, and not to work any cargo, inbound or outbound.

Built in 1999 by Honda Heavy Industries at Saiki in Japan, Erkul S is 128 metres in length and has a deadweight of 13,347 tons. She is powered by a single Makita MAN-B&W 6S35MC 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 5,632 bhp (4,200 kW) to give a service speed of 15 knots.

Nominally owned by Erkul S Shipping Company of Istanbul, Erkul S is operated and managed by the Blue Powder Shipping Company, also of Istanbul and came under their ownership in January 2021. She is a three hold mini bulker with a grain capacity of 15,645 and a bale capacity of 15,440.

The view from the stern of the bulk carrier, Erkul S, a good-looking little ship. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

As well as her arrival from Greenville, Erkul S has been active is West African waters this year, as she previously made capital port calls at Dakar in Senegal in May, and at Abidjan in the Ivory Coast in June. She has also completed a number of voyages to ports in North Africa and Northwest Africa with calls to Sfax in Tunisia and the Spanish African enclave of Ceuta, both in March, plus a call to Jorf Lasfar in Morocco in May.

In March this year, when was sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar, Erkul S was warned by the Spanish MRCC at Tarifa that she was failing to comply with the GIBREP requirements through the Strait of Gibraltar, where all westbound vessels must give a detailed position report to MRCC Tarifa. It would appear that Erkul S failed to respond to any calls made by MRCC Tarifa for a period of almost 5 hours as she left the Mediterranean, which ended with MRCC Tarifa advising her that she would be reported to the relevant maritime authorities if she did not comply.

In early June, it was reported that as she was leaving the Mediterranean Sea, bound for West Africa, she was again asked to call one of the Spanish MRCCs, this time the MRCC at Almeria, for as yet reasons unknown, and with an unknown outcome.

Added 29 July 2021


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Port of Maputo handles a decrease to 18 million tonnes in 2020

Aerial view of the Port of Maputo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Aerial view of the Port of Maputo   Picture DP World

Mozambique’s principal port at Maputo handled just over 18 million tonnes of cargo during 2020, Transport Minister Janfar Abdulai has revealed.

This was a decrease from the 21 million tonnes handled the previous year, 2019.

The minister said he thought the port had performed well, despite the 14% decline in throughput, considering the challenges and restrictions arising from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Abdulai was addressing the opening of the Transport Evolution Mozambique Forum, which brought over 300 participants from 20 countries together virtually.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to creating the necessary conditions for the evolution of transport to answer the needs of domestic and regional development.

Transport Minister Janfar Abdulai, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Transport Minister Janfar Abdulai

“The large investments we have been making in the Maputo, Beira and Nacala corridors in areas such as dredging, expanding port handling, the rehabilitation and modernisation of the existing infrastructures as well as the acquisition of cranes, wagons and locomotives, confirm this commitment to fulfilling Mozambique’s role in regional logistics,” he said.

The Minister highlighted the construction of the new rail customs terminal at Ressano Garcia, on the border with South Africa, which was due to be inaugurated within a few days time.

This, he said will lead to a growth in the volume of cargo handled by the Port of Maputo, as well as encouraging a shift from road to rail.

He added that, as a member state and holding the rotating presidency of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Mozambique has been leading efforts to improve regional connectivity, mobilising large investments to expand and modernise transport infrastructures.

The two day forum sought to unpack investment opportunities for transport infrastructure across the SADC region, while modernising transport infrastructure to boost African trade. source: AIM

Added 29 July 2021


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SCA’s new dredger Hussein Tantawi arrives at Suez Canal

SCA's new dredger Hussein Tantawi arrives at Suez Canal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SCA’s new dredger Hussein Tantawi arrives at Suez Canal.  Picture SCA

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has welcomed the arrival at the canal of the new rock cutter suction dredger, HUSSEIN TANTAWI, from the builder, Royal IHC in the Netherlands.

In a statement issued on Tuesday 27 July, Head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie, said the Hussein Tantawi, one of two biggest and most modern dredgers in the Middle East, had arrived at the Suez Canal on board the heavylift vessel TAI AN KOU.

The dredger was taken to the waters of the Bitter Lakes where it will join the first new dredger, MOHAB MAMEESH which was delivered by Royal IHC in March this year. The flotation of the Hussein Tantawi will be performed during a flag-raising ceremony, said Rabie.

Both dredgers have an overall length of 147.4 metres and a width of 23 metres and can provide a maximum dredging depth of 35 metres. The depth of the Suez Canal is maintained to 24 metres.The two CSDs are among the largest vessels of their kind and were both specifically designed by IHC in close cooperation with SCA.

Dredging of the canal was highlighted in March this year when the 400-metre long, 59-m wide container ship, EVER GIVEN, went aground in the southern section of the canal. In that case however, it wasn’t a depth problem but of width when the boxship lost engine power and slewed diagonally across the canal, jamming the ship tight into both east and west banks, in which position Ever Given remained for the next six days.

The SCA has since embarked on a project of deepening and widening the canal in the south where the containership went aground.

Added 29 July 2021


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Ports of Saldanha & Ngqura handle three wind farm projects

Equipment for the wind farms being discharged from one of the ships. Picture: Mammoet, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Equipment for the wind farms being discharged from one of the ships. Picture: Mammoet

The ports of Saldanha and Ngqura recently handled three wind projects in support of South Africa’s renewable energy goals.

Heavy lifting and transport specialist, Mammoet South Africa, a branch of the global organisation Mammoet, was another to be closely involved with the projects at Roggeveld, Garob and Copperton.

Contracted by the global logistics company Drewes Group, Mammoet’s scope for these projects included the receiving, port handling and transport to laydown area of components for 127 wind turbines – the inventory for all three sites.

The components, such as nacelles, hubs and blades, ranging in weight up to 105 tons, and with a length of up to 63 metres, were received by ship at the ports of Ngqura and Saldanha, and then transported to temporary laydown areas nearby.

It was paramount that the components arrived at the laydown area safely, in the right order and at the right time in preparation for further transport to the wind farms. Careful handling of the components along with thorough planning of the laydown area space were key to successful execution of the scope.

Pre-arranged escort vehicles and flagmen accompanied the transport combinations as required by the port authorities. A high level of logistical precision ensured that tower sections, blades and nacelles reached their respective sites as scheduled.

Wind farm equipment Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures courtesy Mammoet South Africa

Wind Farms

The Roggeveld Wind Farm, developed by Building Energy, is a 147MW site, located approximately 20km north of Matjiesfontein, in the Karoo, on the boundary between the Western and Northern Cape. It will comprise 47 Acciona AW125/3150 and AW125/3000 turbines, generating 613 GWh of green energy yearly.

Garob and Copperton wind farms are situated close to the town of Copperton, within Siyathemba Local Municipality in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Garob Wind Farm, featuring 46 Acciona AW125/3150 turbines, is operated by Enel Green Power RSA and will collectively supply 140MW to the national grid. Copperton Wind Farm, developed by the independent power producer Elawan, will comprise 34 Acciona AW125/3150 turbines and supply 102MW to the country.

Pictures via mammoet and featured in frica PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture courtesy Mammoet South Africa

Henry Viljoen, Manager Sales, Mammoet Southern Africa said they were proud of Mammoet’s part in all three wind farm developments in South Africa, which supports the country’s commitment to meet both its future energy needs and its climate change objectives.

“We are always ready to support our customers with our all-encompassing services, providing expertise of managing complex logistics for wind farm projects,” Viljoen said.

Once in operation, the wind farms are expected to generate over 1000 GWh of clean, green power for South Africa, helping reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Added 29 July 2021


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New operating times for Ressano Garcia/Lebombo border crossing

According to a notice publicised by Radio Moçambique, the crossing times at the Ressano Garcia border crossing between Mozambique and South Africa (Lebombo on the South African side), has been adjusted following the relaxing of Covod-19 restrictions by South Africa as from last Monday 26 July 2021.

The Mozambican National Migration Service (SEANAMI) announced that as from Tuesday, 27 July 2021, the Ressano Garcia crossing point in Maputo province will operate between the hours of 06h00 to 21h30.

The SENAMI announcement explained that the changes in operating hours were to correspond with those of the South African facility at Lebombo.

SENAMI reiterated that goods vehicles will still be able to cross in either direction until 23h00.

Added 28 July 2021


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WHARF TALK: Latest reefer ship into Mother City – WILD PEONY

The refrigerated cargo ship (reefer) Wild Peony, which called at the FPT terminal at Cape Town this week. Picture by Vesselfinder and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The refrigerated cargo ship (reefer) Wild Peony, which called at the FPT terminal at Cape Town this week. Picture by Vesselfinder

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

The almost non-stop procession of reefer vessels arriving at Southern African ports in 2021 to load up with fresh produce to service both the markets of Europe and North America, points to yet more continued and successful growth in the South African fruit export market, but also hints at a continuation of the problems that beset the fruit exporters in 2020.

On 24th July at 05h00 the reefer vessel WILD PEONY (IMO 9191474) arrived at Cape Town and entered the Duncan Dock and proceeded to the Fresh Produce Terminal (FPT), where she went alongside at C berth to complete the loading of another cargo of export citrus fruits.

She had arrived from Port Elizabeth, where she had continued her onload of citrus between 19 and 22 July, and which had first began at the FPT in Durban between 15 and 18 July. She completed her Cape Town load on 25th July and sailed for Rotterdam and St. Petersburg at 15h00 the same day.

The light was fading as Wild Peony began her departure from Caoe Town. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The light was fading as Wild Peony began her departure from Caoe Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

This is the latest departure on the almost weekly service, provided by the Reefer Alliance, serving the Dutch and Russian ports, with calls at Lisbon and Dover also added on specific scheduled departures. The sailing of Wild Peony marks the 14th departure in the South African 2021 season.

This is not the first port call that Wild Peony has made this year at African ports, as she has also made calls at the two West African capital city ports of Dakar in Senegal, which she departed in early January, and at Banjul in the Gambia, where she called in February.

Built in 1998, as one of five sisterships, at the Iwagi Zosen Shipyard at Ochi in Japan, Wild Peony is 150 metres in length and has a deadweight of 10,110 tons. She is powered by a single Mitsubishi Akasaka 7UEC50LSII 7 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 13,093 bhp (9,627 kW) to give her a service speed of 20 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three generators providing 3,300 kW (4,185 kVA) to cool her four holds which have a refrigerated cargo capacity of 499,806 ft3, equivalent to 5,739 m2 of available pallet space. She has a container capacity of 160 TEU, for which 58 reefer plugs are provided.

The reefer Wild Peony's accommodation and wheelhouse section. Picture by 'Dockrat' and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The reefer Wild Peony’s accommodation and wheelhouse section. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned by Baltic Shipping of St. Petersburg and operated by Baltic Reefers, also of St. Petersburg, Wild Peony is managed by Ost-West-Handel und Schiffahrts GmbH of Bremen in Germany. For the South Africa to Europe service she is chartered to the Reefer Alliance, which is a joint venture partnership between Baltic Shipping and Seatrade of Groningen in Holland, with Anlin Shipping of Cape Town acting as their agents in South Africa.

In April 2020, Wild Peony was the first reefer vessel in many years to have sailed from Cape Town with a full cargo load of citrus fruits, destined for the Europe and Russia. This pointed to a shift that was underway where export fruit cargoes were being shifted away from container shipping to conventional shipping.

The reasons were not hard to spot, namely reefer container availability, congestion at the South African harbours causing delays in berthing which disrupted tight delivery schedules, and caused further backlogs of fruit that had to be worked away, constant container terminal stoppages due to manpower problems, low work productivity at the terminals and the excuse to trump them all, Covid-19.

Wild Peony departs from the Port of Cape Town bound for Northern Europe. Picture by 'Dockrat' and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Wild Peony departs from the Port of Cape Town bound for Northern Europe with a cargo of South African fruit loaded at three ports. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Despite this, the same problems have persisted into 2021, and continue to manifest themselves throughout Transnet. Transferring fruit exports to breakbulk reefer vessels, and loading them at the privately owned FPT has removed the vagaries of working through the container terminals and, in the case of Cape Town, brought some protection against the Southeaster which hampers container operations.

The decision by a combination of the Fruit Growing Associations, Anlin Shipping and FPT has resulted in an increase in exports, not only to Europe but also to the USA, the maintaining of a hard fought for international reputation as a reliable exporter, and the grand sight for ship lovers of the regular traffic of sleek reefer vessels continuing to be seen in South African ports.

Added 28 July 2021


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US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle under way this week

USCG Eagle, underway this week. picture USCG
USCG Eagle, underway this week

On Wednesday 28 July the US Coast Guard advised from New London, Connecticut that USCGC Eagle ‘America’s Tall Ship’ is scheduled to arrive in the port city on 30 July where she will moor at City Pier to 1 August and will be open for free public tours.

At 295ft (90m) loa, Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in US government service. Eagle has served as a classroom at sea to future Coast Guard officers since 1946, offering an at-sea leadership and professional development experience as part of the US Coast Guard Academy curriculum.


In recent months, the Northern Hemisphere summer, Coast Guard Academy cadets completed a transatlantic voyage and experienced port calls in Azores, Iceland, and Bermuda.

Eagle is a three-masted ship with more than 22,300 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging. She was constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg.

USCG EAGLE, USCG pic featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German navy, Eagle was a war reparation for the US following the Second World War.

For information about Eagle, including port cities, tour schedules, current events, and cadet and active duty crewmember photographs, readers are invited to follow the ‘United States Coast Guard Barque EAGLE’ Facebook page or on Instagram @barqueeagle.

Illustrations per US Coast Guard are in the public domain and encouraged to be shared widely.




Reported by Paul Ridgway

Added 28 July 2021


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IN CONVERSATION:Predicting droughts and floods: why we’re studying 19th-century ocean records

William John Gould, National Oceanography Centre; Robert Marsh, University of Southampton; Simon Alasdair Josey, National Oceanography Centre, and Stuart Cunningham, Scottish Association for Marine Science

Floods have caused unprecedented damage in Europe recently, while in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, the equivalent of a year’s worth of average rainfall fell in just three days. In stark contrast, extreme heat and droughts have spawned wildfires and caused hundreds of deaths in northwest America.

This kind of extremely wet or dry weather is likely to becoming more common as climate change intensifies. This is because in a warmer world, the amount of moisture that the atmosphere can hold will increase. As a rough rule-of-thumb, for every 1°C temperature rise, the amount of moisture the atmosphere can store increases by as much as 7%.

More moisture means greater rainfall extremes. Perversely, it also means that dry regions may lose more water to the atmosphere through evaporation, and so droughts could lengthen and intensify.

Knowing how rainfall varied in the past can help scientists predict future changes, and the longer the record, the more valuable it is. But how can we assess how worldwide rainfall patterns have changed over decades and even centuries, given that we have only recently been able to make accurate global measurements thanks to satellite technology?

A new technique uses the salinity of the ocean at its surface to forecast how seasonal precipitation over land will change. The ocean’s average surface salinity is close to 35g of salt for each kilogram of seawater. But areas in the subtropics, where lots of water evaporates, are saltiest, while the polar regions and tropics are less salty, reflecting how much snow and rain they tend to get. Essentially, scientists have worked out a way to use the ocean as an enormous rain gauge.

Measuring rainfall

Using measurements from research ships and buoys, scientists have shown that since the 1950s, the salty areas of the ocean have become saltier and the fresh areas fresher. This confirms that the global water cycle of evaporation and precipitation has intensified over the past 70 years.

But in order to understand how climate change will accelerate this process, it would help to know what ocean salinities were like early in the industrial age, before scientific observations of the global ocean were available.

This story is part of Oceans 21

Our series on the global ocean opened with five in-depth profiles. Look out for new articles on the state of our oceans in the lead up to the UN’s next climate conference, COP26. The series is brought to you by The Conversation’s international network.

Happily, there were two pioneering round-the-world oceanographic voyages in the 1870s. That of HMS Challenger (1872-6), led by Sir John Murray, is widely regarded as marking the start of large-scale marine science. Its many reports document new discoveries in marine biology and geology as well as ocean chemistry and physics.

Less well known is the voyage of the German Navy’s SMS Gazelle (1874-6) that made similar measurements to the Challenger. Neither ship measured salinity – a poorly defined concept in those days – but they did carefully measure the specific gravity of seawater samples.

A contemporary drawing of a 19th-century research vessel.
HMS Challenger in the Southern Ocean.  William Frederick Mitchell, Author provided

We converted these gravity values to salinity, allowing us to compare changes in the saltiness of the ocean that occurred before and after the 1950s. Our research showed that the trend of salty areas of the ocean getting saltier and fresh areas getting fresher also held true between the 1870s and the 1950s.

However, the rate of change over those 80 years, early in the industrial era, was half the rate between the 1950s and the present day. In simple terms, the trend is speeding up, matching the acceleration of sea surface temperature changes over the past 150 years. The water cycle has been intensifying since the Victorian era, making floods, droughts and wildfires more frequent and intense.

A world ocean map with rising and falling salinity levels highlighted.
Salinity changes in the ocean since the 1950s.  Nature Communications in Earth and Environment, CC BY

Unravelling the complicated relationship between ocean surface salinity, rainfall and sea and air temperatures uses complex models of the ocean and atmosphere, run on the biggest computers. We can be certain that global temperatures will continue to rise with the continued emission of greenhouse gases. And our confidence in scientific predictions of future floods and droughts can also increase if those same models reproduce the changes in ocean salinity that have been measured as far back as the 19th century, as well as the faster changes since the mid-20th century.

As recent extreme weather events have shown, this is not just of academic interest – it will determine the course of millions of lives.The Conversation

William John Gould, Emeritus Fellow, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate, National Oceanography Centre; Robert Marsh, Professor of Oceanography and Climate, University of Southampton; Simon Alasdair Josey, Professor of Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, National Oceanography Centre, and Stuart Cunningham, Professor of Ocean Circulation and Climate, Scottish Association for Marine Science

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Added 28 July 2021


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Prevention of pest contamination:
Cargo Integrity Group calls for risk-based measures

Port of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast   Port of Abidjan

In a Joint Media Statement the international freight transport organisations in the Cargo Integrity Group are calling for urgent action from actors in global supply chains to reduce the risk of pest transference through international cargo movements.

The five partners in the Cargo Integrity Group, known as CIG,* recognise the vital importance of focusing on the threat of invasive pests to natural resources across the world, and of the urgency in crafting risk reduction measures that address the situation.

This call to action** follows the intentions by pest control experts under the auspices of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)***, to take all-encompassing, internationally imposed steps to mitigate such risks.

One measure under serious consideration is the mandatory certification of cleanliness for all containers prior to loading on board a vessel, a measure that would have significant impact on global trade when it comes to both time and cost.

Lars Kjaer, Senior Vice President of the World Shipping Council (WSC), explains the CIG partners’ concerns around these very broad proposals: “We know that more serious risks occur among certain types of goods and from identified regions. The CIG recommendation centres on the need to provide proper risk assessments in defined trades and focus mandatory measures on these high-risk areas and cargoes.”

The partners in CIG are committed to ensuring that international trade is conducted in a safe, secure, and environmentally sustainable manner. They rigorously promote the use of the Code of Practice for the Packing of Cargo Transport Units published by the IMO, the UNECE (the UN United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) and the ILO (the CTU Code).

The serious issue of the transfer of invasive pests between different natural ecosystems is very much a part of this commitment. It is also crucial that the development of any such controls is undertaken in full consultation with other appropriate bodies, in particular the international agencies responsible for the governance of world trade and for the regulation of different modes of transport, as well as supply chain stakeholders and industry practitioners.

James Hookham, Secretary General of Global Shippers’ Forum concluded by saying: “There are identified risk areas and cargoes which must be addressed, and the CIG partners look forward to contributing essential industry expertise to the work of the IPPC to ensure an effective and efficient set of recommendations and best practices to stop the transfer of invasive species.”

* The five organisations co-operating in the Cargo integrity Group are: Container Owners’ Association (COA); Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF); International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA International); TT Club and the World Shipping Council (WSC).

** The full CIG submission to the IPPC can be accessed HERE

*** The IPPC is an international convention, signed by over 180 countries and governed by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures, part of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).  Agreed amendments to the convention are enforceable by all national governments which are signatories.




Reported by Paul Ridgway

Added 28 July 2021


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Transnet IT network remains affected after last week’s hack, but progress “being made”

Durban Container Terminal, Pier 1. The cross berths and Pier 2 are out of sight to the left, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban Container Terminal, Pier 1. The cross berths and Pier 2 are out of sight to the left.  Opposite on the city side of the bay is the T Jetty and Multipurpose Terminal top right    Picture: Transnet

Transnet says significant progress has been made in restoring its IT systems with most of its applications up by Monday this week. However, it expected some applications to run slowly during the week while monitoring continued.

According to Transnet the terminals are berthing vessels as planned and facilitating the loading and discharging of operations with the shipping lines, with whom it said it would continue to work directly in order to manage maximum import evacuation and exports planned for future vessels.

Controls have been developed, in conjunction with the shipping lines and SARS Customs division to ensure safe clearance and evacuation of each container, it said.

On Monday 26 July Transnet Port Terminals declared force majeure to cover the period from 22 July, which it expects to be able to lift soon.

Freight Rail

Business continuity plans have enabled Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) to keep the trains running using manual backup operations. TFR assured stakeholders and customers that all processes followed allow for the safe operation of trains.

Cross-border customers involving SARS clearance processes are requested to obtain hard copies of SARS clearance documentation with their consignment noted at the Order Entry Office or Terminals. This is to assist with the manual system application necessary to authorise the departure of trains.

Meanwhile, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS in yesterday’s edition, some container lines have begun omitting calls at Durban as a result of the IT problem. This has occurred during a period when the ports of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London were disrupted by heavy swells affecting cargo working at the container terminals.

On Tuesday 27 July Transnet’s website remained down and the only information coming from the organisation was via its Twitter account.

Transnet said it would honour salary payments to its employees.

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WHARF TALK: A fleeting visit from heavy lift PALMGRACHT

The Spliethoff heavylift vessel PALMGRACHT that called at Cape Town this week for bunkers. Picture by 'Dockrat'
The Spliethoff heavylift vessel PALMGRACHT that called at Cape Town this week for bunkers. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Just like London Buses, you wait an age for a heavy lift vessel to come along and then two arrive almost together.

On 25th July at 05h00 the heavy lift vessel PALMGRACHT (IMO 9424558) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage from Maputo, and after a short stay of 5 hours she entered Cape Town harbour and proceeded directly to the Eastern Mole, the usual berth for vessels normally calling in for bunkers and fresh supplies. Just over 12 hours later at 23H00 she sailed for Las Palmas.

On arrival, as a heavy lift vessel, she was carrying a deck cargo of what appeared to be a large French made cable, or pipeline, carousel. The manufacturer is well known for the manufacture of equipment utilised in the power and offshore industries for energy generation and conversion. That the vessel started her voyage back in May in France, and via Mozambique and South Africa, she is now headed back in the direction of Europe via the Canaries, still with the carousel on deck, makes the end user of the carousel a mystery.

The heavylift cargo that is being carried on the Palmgracht. Picture by 'Dockrat', fatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The heavylift carousel that is being carried in the Palmgracht. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2010 by Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding of Shanghai in China, Palmgracht is 169 metres in length and has a deadweight of 19,413 tons. She is powered by a single Augsburg MAN 7L58/64CD 7 cylinder 4 stroke main engine producing 13,142 bhp (9,800 kW),to drive a controllable pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Caterpillar C32 ALERT generators providing 994 kW each, with a Sisu 645 DSBIG emergency generator providing 200 kW. She has two Alfa Laval boilers, one powered by exhaust gas and one oil fired.
She has two holds, capable of open hatch voyages, which are served by two NMF 700 ton cranes, located on the starboard side, which can operate in tandem to give a 1,400 ton lift. She also has a NMF 180 ton crane located forward on the port side. Her container carrying capacity is 974 TEU, for which 100 reefer plugs are provided.

The Coat of Arms of Bremen from thre original ship's owner, Beluga, now painted over but not hidden. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Coat of Arms of Bremen from the original ship’s owner, Beluga, now painted over but not hidden. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned and operated by Spliethoff Bevrachtingskantoor BV of Amsterdam, and available in the Biglift pool, Palmgracht is one of seven P-14, or P2-1400, type heavy lift vessels in the fleet. She is classified by DNV with GL 100 E3 Ice Class, which allows her to undertake voyages in Arctic waters. Her pedigree is hinted at, as she wears the coat of arms of the German city of Bremen on her bow, but now painted over.

In January 2017 she became the first ever open hatch vessel to complete a voyage using the Northern Sea Route when she carried a cargo of two Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes from St. Petersburg in the Baltic Sea, to Vostochny in the Russian Far East. The STS cranes weighed 820 tons apiece, and were 61 metres in height and 93 metres in width and were both carried within the holds in the open hatch configuration.

Palmgrach at the bunker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Palmgrach at the bunker berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

As with many of the specialised heavy lift vessels built around 2010, Palmgracht was originally built for Beluga Shipping in Bremen, and after that company went into administration, she had a few more owners, all based in Germany, before being purchased by Spliethoff in April 2020 to join the other P-14 vessels that they had acquired for their fleet.

She was purchased from Zeamarine of Bremen, and in February 2020, operating under the name of ‘Zea Gold’ she was arrested in Rouen, in France, on an admiralty order granted to Nomadic Shipping of Bergen in Norway. It was reported that Zeamarine has stopped paying fees for two other multipurpose vessels that they had chartered from the Norwegian shipping company. Soon afterwards she was released from arrest and joined the Spliethoff fleet.

Added 27 July 2021


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MSC partners with Fincantieri and Snam to build world’s first ocean-going hydrogen-powered cruise ship

MSC cruise ship appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

One month after taking delivery of their second LNG-powered cruise ship, MSC EURIBIA (see next story), MSC Cruises and shipbuilder Fincantieri have partnered with Snam* in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly determine the conditions for the design and construction of what could become the world’s first oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ship.

* Snam S.p.A. is an Italian energy infrastructure company

MSC Cruises is the third largest cruise brand and part of the MSC Group, which owns and operates the world’s second largest container ship fleet. The study will assess the feasibility of designing and building the world’s first oceangoing cruise ship powered by hydrogen, which would allow zero-emissions operations in certain areas, and the development of the related hydrogen bunkering infrastructure.

Green hydrogen can be produced without fossil fuels, using renewable energy to split water in a process called electrolysis and can therefore be emissions-free on a full lifecycle basis. It can be used to generate electrical power through a fuel cell, emitting only water vapor and heat. This type of ‘green’ hydrogen holds great potential to contribute to the decarbonisation of the shipping industry, including cruising, whether in its pure form or as a hydrogen-derived fuel.

MSC Cruises' Pierfrancisco Vago, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Cruises’ Pierfrancisco Vago

According to Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, MSC Cruises wants to put themselves at the forefront of the energy revolution for the sector and hydrogen, he said, can greatly contribute to this.

“However, today production levels remain low and hydrogen fuel is still far from being available at scale. With this project, we’re taking the lead to bring this promising technology to our fleet and the industry while sending the strongest possible signal to the market about how seriously we take our environmental commitments.

“As we advance with the development of the maritime technology required, we will also see that energy providers take note and ramp up production to unlock this, and that governments and the public sector step in to provide the necessary support for a project that is critical to the decarbonisation of cruising and shipping.”

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s CEO said, “Every opportunity for new solutions and technologies is a source of growth for us. This one allows us to offer our customers the best of innovation to help minimize the environmental impact.”

Marco Alverà, Snam’s CEO said that hydrogen could be a key enabler in achieving the target of net zero emissions in shipping, accounting for approximately 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, as well as in all the hard to abate sectors.

“Snam is strongly committed to concrete initiatives for sustainable heavy transport – on road, rail and by sea – promoting the use of renewable gases such hydrogen and bioLNG. This agreement for us is part of a wider strategy to leverage on our experience, competences and technologies in green gases and energy efficiency in order to contribute to the full decarbonisation of the shipping value chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly crucial in our economies,” he said.

In terms of the MoU, during the next 12 months the three companies will study key factors related to the development of oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ships. These include arranging ship spaces to accommodate H2 technologies and fuel cells, technical parameters of onboard systems, calculating the potential greenhouse gas emissions savings, and a technical and economic analysis of hydrogen supply and infrastructure.

The Cruise Division of MSC Group is committed to achieving net carbon neutral operations by 2050. To accomplish this objective, the Company said it is working in partnership with a wide range of ship yards, suppliers, manufacturers and other organisations as well as investing in different upcoming technologies and solutions for its fleet.

Added 27 July 2021


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Construction underway of LNG-powered, environmentally advanced cruise ship, MSC Euribia

Meraviglia Plus class ship (MSC Euribia) Picture: MSC featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Meraviglia Plus class ship (MSC Euribia) Picture: MSC

Named after the ancient Greek goddess of mastery of the seas, the first steel cutting for the latest MSC Cruises’ vessel, MSC EURIBIA, took place recently at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire in France.

MSC Euribia is to become second ship in the MSC Cruises’ fleet powered by LNG to achieve substantial emissions reductions. The ship, the third of the Meraviglia Plus-class, is set to come into service in 2023 when she will become the 22nd vessel in the MSC Cruises fleet. Her sisterships are MSC Grandiosa (2019) and MSC Virtuosa (2021).

According to the deck plan, MSC Euribia will have 2,421 staterooms for 4,810 passengers (with a maximum capacity of 6,334), looked after by 1,704 crew-staff. There are 18 decks, 15 of which are passenger-accessible, including 11 with cabins).

She will have 14 restaurants and food bars, 21 lounges and bars, 4 swimming pools (one with a sliding roof and one exclusive for the MSC Yacht Club), 9 Jacuzzis, and 32 elevators.

Present at the steel-cutting ceremony were MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s General Manager Laurent Castaing. Vago said the ship marks a new milestone in MSC Cruises’ journey towards net zero impact operations. “It is testament to our commitment to foster and develop next generation environmental technologies,” he said.

“As a family with over 300 years of seafaring heritage, we always seek to protect the environment to safeguard our way of life and protect the planet for future generations. With our first LNG-powered vessel already under construction, MSC Euribia will further reduce emissions using the latest available technology. She will be one of the world’s most environmentally high-performing contemporary vessels.”

Ceremonial cutting of steel for MSC Euribia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

While LNG is claimed as the cleanest marine fuel currently available on the basis that it virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides (99%), nitrogen oxides (85%) and particles (98%), it hasn’t gained the approval of certain environmental bodies who see LNG as another fossil fuel.

Nevertheless, in terms of emissions with a global impact, LNG plays a key role in climate change mitigation and MSC Euribia’s engines will have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25% compared to standard fuels. In addition, with the subsequent availability of Bio and Synthetic forms of LNG, this energy source will provide a pathway toward eventual decarbonised operations.

LNG is also key to the development of fuel cell solutions for shipping as these technologies cannot be operated with traditional fuels. MSC Cruises, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and a consortium of leading energy and technology companies are working on the development of a pilot LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell technology for cruise ships that could achieve a further significant greenhouse gas emissions reduction due to the higher efficiency of this technology.

MSC Cruises says it is committed to powering at least three upcoming ships with LNG, representing a total investment exceeding EUR 3 billion. The first of these, MSC WORLD EUROPA is currently under construction in Saint Nazaire and set to enter service in October 2022. Construction of the third vessel is set to commence in early 2023.

MSC Euribia Technical

Engines and fuels on MSC Euribia:

4 Wärtsilä (12V and 16V) dual fuel engines generally running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), occasionally on 0.1% sulphur marine gasoil (MGO) so the ship will not require exhaust gas cleaning systems.

Air Emissions: Selective catalytic reduction system that reduces NOx emissions by up to 90% when the ship runs on MGO (LNG offers a similar NOx reduction) – MSC Euribia will meet the IMO’s Tier III standards regardless of the fuel it uses.

Shore-to-ship power connectivity, allowing the ship to switch off its engines and connect to local power grids at ports where this infrastructure is available.

Waste and Ballast Water: Advanced wastewater treatment system complying with the International Maritime Organization’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution at the world’s most stringent standards – the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’.

Advanced ballast water treatment system will prevent the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, complying with the International Maritime Organization’s Ballast Water Management Convention.

Protecting Marine Life: Underwater radiated noise management system, with hull and engine room designs that minimise acoustic sound impact, reducing their potential effects on marine fauna, most particularly on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.

Energy Efficiency: All MSC Cruises’ newbuilds incorporate a wide range of energy efficient equipment aimed at helping reduce and optimise engine use. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems with automated energy recovery loops that redistribute heat and cold to reduce demand.

The ships use LED lighting controlled by smart management systems to enhance further the energy saving profile. In partnership with the shipyard, MSC Euribia will be fitted with automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimise operational efficiency onboard.

Virtual Tour

Take now a YouTube virtual tour [6:21] of MSC Euribia’s sistership, MSC GRANDIOSA


On Monday 26 July 2021 at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in Italy, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of its new flagship MSC Seashore – at 169,500-gt the largest cruise ship to be built in Italy. Her length is 339 metres and width 41 metres. Her sister ship MSC Seascape is currently under construction at the Monfalcone shipyard and is due to come into service in the northern winter of 2022.

MSC Seashore is the first Seaside EVO ship and joins sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, which launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively. This class of ship has innovative and glamourous design features.

* For more on MSC Seashore, CLICK HERE

MSC Cruises' latest ship, MSC Seashore which entered service this week. Picture: MSC Cruises, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Cruises’ latest ship, MSC Seashore which entered service this week. Picture: MSC Cruises
Added 27 jULY 2021


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It’s back to cruising for Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Jade in Livorno, Italy. The ship has relaunched NCL cruising after 500 days of Covid-19 lockdown. This picture is by Trevor Jones featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Norwegian Jade in Livorno, Italy. The ship has relaunched NCL cruising after 500 days of Covid-19 lockdown. This picture is by Trevor Jones

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) this week became the latest cruise line to return to full-time cruising when NORWEGIAN JADE was the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome passengers after 500 days, while also becoming the first NCL ship to homeport in Athens (Piraeus).

Until November 2021, passengers sailing aboard Norwegian Jade’s Greek Isles itinerary will wake up in a new destination every day, able to spend eight-to-nine hours exploring some of Greece’s most picturesque islands including luxurious Crete, bustling Mykonos, historical Rhodes and the iconic blue and white Santorini.

“Welcoming our guests and crew on board has been one of the most memorable moments of my over 30-year career,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are excited to embark on the Great Cruise Comeback with a brand-new itinerary and homeport for our brand, offering our guests an even greater selection of unique vacations at sea.”

Greek Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis was in agreement, saying “We are overjoyed to welcome Norwegian Jade and her guests to Greece. The planned itineraries will offer unique experiences that combine our rich history, bustling culture and famous gastronomy.”

Norwegian Jade’s deployment in Athens is part of a long-term strategy to further increase the brand’s presence in Europe. Through 2023, NCL plans to position nine ships in the region, with Norwegian Dawn, Epic, Escape, Getaway, Gem, Jade and Star scheduled to sail in Greece.

“Norwegian Jade’s first Greek Isles voyages sold out shortly after we made the announcement that we were on our way back,” said Sommer. “With such strong demand, we are glad to expand our offering in Greece with seven ships through 2023, providing our guests with a range of innovative vessels and itineraries to choose from.”

Norwegian Jade is the first ship to recommence voyages as part of the Company’s larger restart efforts. On 7 August 2021, NORWEGIAN ENCORE will be the first ship to return to service from the U.S., when she debuts in Seattle for her inaugural season of Alaska cruises.

Another view of Norwegian Jade in Livorno, taken by Trevor Jones and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Another view of Norwegian Jade in Livorno, taken by Trevor Jones.  The 93,500-gt ship was built in 2006  as Pide of Hawaii  for the NCL America division, but renamed two years later to Norwegian Jade. 

Full vaccination programme

The fleetwide redeployment will continue in partnership with local governments and are guided by the protocols of the NCL’s health and safety program, which includes that all crew and passengers must be fully vaccinated to embark for voyages through 31 October 2021.

These protocols will regularly be evaluated and modified as needed, making science-based decisions to protect passengers, crew and the destinations each ship visits. As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published at

Until 31 October 2021 passengers booked on NCL sailings have the flexibility to cancel their cruise 15 days prior to departure and receive a full refund in the form of a future cruise credit which may be applied to any sailing through 31 December 2022.

Added 27 July 2021


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Durban ship calls omitted as Transnet IT system outages continue

With the Transnet IT network by all accounts still affected by outages on Monday, after being hacked late last week, and Transnet Port Terminals and National Ports Authority having to work manually, ship scheduling has become something of a nightmare with lines forced to reschedule and omit certain calls.

The Port of Durban is the latest to experience these omissions.

In an advisory Maersk announced that due to the system outages at TPT, the vessel MARATHOPOLIS on voyage 127E and currently in Port Elizabeth harbour, will be delayed into Jebel Ali. In order to minimise disruption, the vessel RHONE MAERSK will omit her Durban call and advance into the Marathopolis position in Jebel Ali with an ETA of 4 August. Maersk Rhone will now include a call at Maputo en-route to Jebel Ali to load cargo for the Far East that is discharging off the HORIZON 190A.

The Marathopolis 127E revised position into Jebel Ali is now 11 August 2021. Meanwhile all exports from the Rhone Maersk in Durban will be transferred to the MAERSK RUBICON in Durban ETA 5 August. Import cargo on the Rhone Maersk will be retained on board for Jebel Ali discharge and be rerouted onto the Protea service back to Durban.

The Ocean Africa feeder vessel Horizon. Picture by Shabeer Dhooma, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Ocean Africa feeder vessel Horizon.   Picture by Shabeer Dhooma

Horizon Feeder Service 190B/191B – Durban Omission

Maersk advises that due to the current service disruptions related to the Transnet IT issues the feeder vessel HORIZON will omit her Durban call and divert to Maputo in order for connection of cargo onboard to the Middle and Far East.

“We understand the inconvenience this will cause your business and we have activated our contingency plan to transfer cargo from the Horizon to other vessels in order to ensure disruption to your supply chain is kept to a minimum, Maersk said. The transfers will be:

All Far East imports on board will be discharged in Maputo and will be loaded onto the RHONE MAERSK 133W to be routed via the Middle East to the respective final destinations.

All Far East exports booked from Ngqura will be transferred to the FEW2 vessel MAERSK CARDIFF 125E to sail directly to the Far East. For Middle East cargo booked from Ngqura those bookings will be transferred to the SANTA ISABEL 231S to connect to the MAERKS RUBICON 129E from Durban.

The current impact to transit times will be an approximate 10 – 14 day delay to cargo to final delivery destinations.

The Horizon vessel will then return to Durban to slot into her standard rotation on the 6 August 2021.

In relation to the above, the feeder vessel HORIZON on voyage 191A will omit her Durban call.

The import units currently planned to load on the Horizon 191A for delivery to Port Elizabeth will be transferred to the GLACIER BAY on voyage 132N for ETA 11 August in PE Container Terminal.

ETA: 03 August 2021
ETD: 05 August 2021

ETA: 11 August 2021
ETD: 12 August 2021

These advisories can be found on the Maersk news and advisory page by CLICKING HERE

Added 26 July 2021


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The general cargo vessel Lisa Auerbach which berthed at J berth in the Duncan Dock to discharge heavy equipment for outfitting the Debmarine diamond mining vessel now under construction in Romania. Picture by 'Dockrat' featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The general cargo vessel Lisa Auerbach which berthed at J berth in the Duncan Dock to discharge heavy equipment for outfitting the Debmarine diamond mining vessel now under construction in Romania. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Project freight can sometimes attract the more unusual kind of vessel required to transport from point A to point B. More often than not, the vessel is a specialised heavy lift vessel, usually equipped with dual heavy lift cranes. In recent months, Cape Town has seen quite a number of this kind of heavy lift vessel, nearly all of them associated with the preparation for a major ship outfitting project, planned to get underway in the port in the near future.

On 23rd July at 16h00 the heavy lift vessel LISA AUERBACH (IMO 9388900) arrived at Cape Town from Gdynia in Poland.

Lisa Auerbach can also be described as a project cargo vessel, which with her twin haevy duty cranes, is capable of handling heavy cargo for specialist projects. Picture by 'Dockrat'
Lisa Auerbach can also be described as a project cargo vessel, which with her two heavy lift cranes, is capable of handling large, heavy cargo for specialist projects. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She had arrived via the Kiel Canal, which links the Baltic Sea with the North Sea, hence why most ship reporting sites gave her last port as Brunsbüttel in Germany, which is actually the exit point from the canal when transiting from the Baltic Sea.

On arrival she berthed at J berth at the far end of the Duncan Dock, adjacent to the De Beers Marine compound, and discharged a large item of project freight to join the many other recently delivered sections of the upcoming new diamond mining vessel being built in Romania for De Beers. Her stay in Cape Town was very brief and on 24th July at 18h00 she sailed for Moroni in the Comores. Still visible on deck, along with a stow of containers, was a wide variety of vehicles, including diggers, construction vehicles, trucks, tankers, cars and buses.

Built in 2008 by Qingshan Shipyard at Wuhan in China, Lisa Auerbach’ is 138 metres in length and has a deadweight of 12,684 tons. She is powered by a single Caterpillar MaK 6M43C 6 cylinder 4 stroke main engine producing 7,242 bhp (5,400 kW), to drive a controllable pitch propeller, giving her a service speed of 14 knots.

Lisa Auerbach in Cape Town port, Picture by 'Dockrat'
Heavy specialist machinery for the new diamond mining vessel for Debmarine.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three MAN D2840 LE301 generator sets each providing 395 kW and a MAN D2866 emergency generator providing 99 kW. She also has two boilers, one exhaust gas powered, and one oil fired. She has three holds with a container capacity of 665 TEU, for which 25 reefer plugs are provided.

One of six F-300 class sisterships, built for the now defunct heavy lift specialist carrier, Beluga Shipping of Bremen, she is now owned and managed by Auerbach Schiffahrt GmbH of Hamburg, and she is operated for BBC Chartering GmbH of Leer, in Germany. Her heavy lift capability is provided by having two NMF DKII cranes of 150 tons lift each, which can be operated in tandem to achieve a lift of 300 tons.

One of her more highly specialised lifts in recent years was to transport the telescope mount assembly for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). The LSST mount was carried from Spain to Chile in 2019, and transported on to the Vera Rubin Observatory that was being built specifically to house the LSST high up in the Andes Mountains. The LSST is the largest digital camera ever built, and will conduct an optical survey of the entire sky, where it is expected to increase the number of small bodies by a factor of 10. The survey will start in 2022 and is expected to take ten years. The cost of LSST is a whopping US$473 million (ZAR7.02 billion).

Lisa Auerbach Picture by 'Dockrat'
Trucks and other wheeled machinery bound for the Comores – more project cargo on board Lisa Auerbach.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In March 2015, when she was operating under the name of FINESSE, she was carrying a cargo of sugar from Dar es Salaam to Reunion Island, where she had gone to anchor to await her berth. Due to the approach of poor weather, she decided to raise anchor and head out to sea. As she left the anchorage she suffered a severe main engine breakdown and required the assistance of two tugs, which took her in tow and held her offshore for 24 hours until the weather had abated, and she was able to be brought safely into Port Reunion.

In May 2016, when still under the name of Finesse, she was involved in the rescue of the two man crew of the Dutch yacht ‘Dante’ which had been run down in the night by an unidentified vessel in the Bay of Biscay. The unknown vessel did not stop and the yacht was so badly damaged that a Mayday was broadcast for assistance. The French MRCC at Corsen, on Cape Finisterre, requested that Finesse take off the two crew members. They were later airlifted off the Finesse by a French Navy NH90 SAR helicopter and brought to safety. The yacht was towed into the port of Sein by a French SNSM Lifeboat.

Added 26 July 2021


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NEW BOOKS: Seaforth World Naval Review 2021

World Naval Review, reviewed by Paul Risgway and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


Seaforth World Naval Review

Edited by Conrad Waters
Seaforth Publishing
192 pages
ISBN: 978 1 5267 9074 3
Price £35.00

For over a decade this annual publication has provided an authoritative summary of much that has happened in the naval world in the previous twelve months, combining regional surveys with individual major articles on noteworthy new ships and other important developments. Besides the latest warship projects, it also looks at wider issues of significance to navies, such as aviation and weaponry, and calls on expertise from around the globe to give a balanced picture of what is going on with an interpretation of its significance.

Seaforth World Naval Review 2021 has four sections: The Overview; World Fleet Reviews; Significant Ships and Technological Reviews.

The Overview is followed by Regional Reviews of North and South America; Asia and the Pacific and the Indian Ocean and Africa. To this are added a thirteen-page review of the Nigerian Navy, activities in Europe and Russia and an eleven-page review of the Royal Swedish Navy facing rising tensions in the Baltic.

Apart from the navies of Canada and the US under the heading of other North and Central American navies we learn something of the capabilities by way of a snapshot of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guatemala and Honduras. In South America we are introduced to the assets of Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In the Asia-Pacific region naval forces commented on include those of Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea. The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Of the waters of the Indian Ocean and around Africa fleet strengths are provided for: Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Other navies in these waters which are introduced are the maritime forces of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

With regard to the Significant Ships section the latest of the in-depth series covers the US Navy’s America (LHA-6) class amphibious ships; the Singaporean Independence class of an indigenous design of Littoral Mission Vessel; and the venerable Type 23 frigate, still the mainstay of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

Finally, the Technological Reviews includes an analysis of stealth at sea by Norman Friedman, the US Standard missile family by Richard Scott, as well as David Hobbs’ regular review of naval aviation and the origins and potential of what the US Navy regards as Distributed Maritime Operations.

Firmly established as the only annual naval overview of its type, World Naval Review is essential reading for enthusiasts or professionals, particularly those readers interested in contemporary maritime affairs and geopolitics.

World Naval Review 2021provides an essential snapshot of global fighting fleets and their recent developments.

As ever an interesting volume, well printed with 200 colour and monochrome illustrations providing the reader with most authoritative and accessible source to keep abreast of naval developments in the current naval scene.

Conrad Waters, the author, is a lawyer by training and a banker by profession, with a lifelong interest in modern navies, about which he has written extensively. He edited the recent Navies in the 21st Century, while his British Town Class Cruisers, also published by Seaforth, has received many plaudits. He has been the editor of Seaforth World Naval Review since its foundation in 2009.

Seaforth Publishing, an imprint of Pen & Sword, are at 47 Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2AS, UK. Further information and orders may be requested here:




Reviewed by Paul Ridgway
London Correspondent

Added 26 July 2021


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Video: The scuttling of the Twin Capes ferry to create a natural reef

Watch this short YouTube video [0:51] taken from a drone showing the deliberate sinking of the former Cape May – ferry TWIN CAPES in 130 feet of water to provide an artificial reef for a fish habitat to attract fishes and anglers, 26 miles off the US Atlantic coast.

The second longer video [8:13] below is filmed from the waterside as the ferry is scuttled.

Added 26 July 2021


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Updating Maritime Administrators in the Caribbean

IMO updating maritime administrators in the Caribbean by virtual conference, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
IMO updating maritime administrators in the Caribbean by virtual conference

According to news from the excellent IMO media service on 23 July senior maritime administrators in the Caribbean participated in the latest Regional Workshop, which was held virtually on 19 & 20 July.

This workshop provided Caribbean maritime administrators with an overview of regulatory and other developments in the international and regional maritime sector as well as on current and future technical cooperation activities organised by IMO. The workshop facilitated exchange of information between Caribbean administrations.

In the event participants were updated on the work of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre – Caribe (RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe), the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for the Caribbean (MTCC Caribbean), the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMoU), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat (in the context of maritime transport) and the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC).

It was reported that the workshop was hosted by the Maritime Services Division, Ministry of Works and Transport, Trinidad and Tobago.

Participants attended from: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the territories/regions of: Bermuda (United Kingdom), Cayman Islands (United Kingdom), Curaçao (the Netherlands), Sint Eustatius (the Netherlands) and Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom).




Reported by Paul Ridgway

Added 26 July 2021


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Maersk enhances shipping services between Mombasa and North Europe

Maersk is enhancing its shipping service from Mombasa to North Europe, specifically Felixstowe and Rotterdam, by providing a single transhipment product via Salalah.

The changes in network are aimed at providing higher predictability and more flexibility to customers’ supply chains, says Maersk. The line says that by redesigning the network from Salalah Maersk’s ME7 service will bring more resilience to customers’ supply chains, further protecting them from operational challenges that arise out of contingencies.

“We welcome the redesign of our ocean network from Salalah which will connect our Kenyan customers cargo to Europe through a single transhipment,” said Carl Lorenz, Maersk Eastern Africa Managing Director.

He said the enhancement will ensure further peace of mind to Kenyan exporters injecting more resilience, predictability, and reliability into customers’ supply chains, particularly essential for perishable cargo from Kenya.

“It’s great to see this important market being prioritised where global reliability in Ocean Freight is more of a challenge than ever.”

According to Maersk the ME7 service will connect Kenya’s exports via Salalah to Europe ensuring the cargo will flow smoothly without getting affected by unforeseen delays in case of congestion. The ME7 service will also provide regular rotations between the hubs of Colombo and Salalah, thus letting customers have a more flexible option of moving their cargo.

“Our customers deserve a predictable service that will allow them to plan their supply chains better. With our redesigned ocean network, we are not only providing our customers with predictability and resilience, but also greater speed to market allowing them to optimise their inventories and operations to meet the surge in demand with a competitive edge,” said Lorenz.

Added 26 July 2021


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Transnet prioritises reefer exports as IT network remains hacked

Durban Container Terminal, Pier 2, North Quay - imoacted as with the other container berths by the cyber attacking of Transnet's IT network , featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban Container Terminal, Pier 2, North Quay, berth 203 – impacted as with the other container berths by the cyber attacking of Transnet’s IT network    Picture: Transnet

Transnet was continuing to experience downtime with its IT network despite having saying it has identified and isolated the source.

As a result Transnet has had to resort to working manually on port and rail operations. On Friday Transnet said it was prioritising the export of reefer containers primarily through the port of Durban.

At that time two export-bound vessels had started a loading cycle at Pier 2 (container terminal) while a third was discharging imports at Pier 1 and would soon commence with the loading of reefer containers.

Since the start of the citrus season in April, reefer container volumes have been 12% higher than the same period in 2020.

In Richards Bay manual operations were continuing. In the Eastern Cape, the East London and Port Elizabeth Container and Auto Terminals were working manually. The Ngqura Container Terminal was meanwhile impacted by high swells, which also applied to the Cape Town Container terminal.

All other terminals in the Western Cape ports were reported as working manually.

Coming after the previous week’s unrest in KZN and Gauteng, which prevented rail and port operations for much of the week, as staff were forced to stay away from the workplace and threats and acts of sabotage to rail and road deliveries blocked most traffic to the ports, the latest attack on the IT network could not have come at a worse time.

The NATCOR line between Gauteng and Durban had only returned to service last Sunday (18 July), after Transnet Freight Rail people worked round the clock to restart operations in a safe mode.

This latest development has led to inevitable speculation that the cyber-attack is connected with the insurrection that the two provinces experienced, which is seen as connected with the arrest and imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma.

According to Transnet on Thursday (22 July) other operations across the Group were continuing normally – Freight Rail, Pipelines, Engineering and Property divisions. However the later report of Friday makes it clear that rail and port operations are impacted with only manual operations possible.

“We cannot export anything at the moment because the operations are at a standstill,” Mitchell Brooke, development manager at the Citrus Growers Association was quoted by Bloomberg. “That’s a big problem, a big challenge for us because we are sitting at the peak of our season and we can’t get product onto the market.”

Transnet had been communicating publicly via its Twitter account, however there has been no word since Friday. The company’s websites remained offline as of Sunday evening 25 July.

Added 25 July 2021: 19h00


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Nigerian court sentences 10 pirates to lengthy jail time

The ten pirates following their capture by the Ngerian Navy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The ten pirates following their capture by the Nigerian Navy   Picture Nigerian Navy

Ten men accused of piracy involving the fishing vessel HAILUFENG 11 on the evening of 15 May 2020 have been sentenced to lengthy terms in jail by a court in Lagos.

The boarding of the fishing vessel was one of two acts of piracy in the waters of Lome and Cotonou, with the other occurring on 24 June 2020 when another fishing vessel, PANOFI FRONTIER, was boarded by pirates also south of Cotonou.

In the attack on the fishing vessel HAILUFENG II, 18 members of the crew of the crew were abducted from the vessel when the pirates departed.

However the Nigerian Navy took a hand by capturing the pirates and releasing the crew of the fishing vessel . The Federal High Court judge when sentencing the ten pirates said the attack on the Hailufeng II and kidnapping of the screw was “an embarrassment to the nation that has impacted the economy negatively.”

He sentenced all ten to 12 years in jail as well as imposing fines of 250,000 naira (US$608) on each man.

The convictions imposed on the pirates fell under an anti-piracy law signed into effect by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2019. Until then Nigeria and the remainder of West and Central Africa region had no specific stand-alone legislation regarding piracy at sea.

At the time the new legislation involving the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act was described as a reassurance to the global community that Nigeria was serious about getting on top of the security issues in its maritime domain.

Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, has described Nigerian pirates as working with the support and cooperation of international allies, which he said, was what makes them sophisticated.

“We have set out to tackle them through intelligence gathering and collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Our recent arrests have shown the international community that we are not handling illegalities in our waters with kid gloves.”

Added 25 July 2021


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WHARF TALK: multi-role geophysical and hydrographic survey vessel FUGRO DISCOVERY

Fugro Discovery. Picture by Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fugro Discovery. Picture by Shipspotting

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

The arrival of stable 4G and 5G internet is coming a step closer for Africa with the preliminary inshore, shallow water, surveys taking place for another fibre-optic telecommunications cable system known as 2Africa. One of the companies that are heavily involved in the majority of these surveys is the giant Fugro group of Holland.

On 20th July at 09h00 the multi-role geophysical and hydrographic survey vessel FUGRO DISCOVERY (IMO 9152882) arrived at the Table Bay anchorage and after a few hours she entered Cape Town harbour at 16h00 and berthed at the Eastern Mole in the Duncan Dock, which is the usual berth for vessels taking bunkers and stores only, whilst en-route to elsewhere.

Fugro Discoivery was most recently in the port of Cape Town, prior to sailing towards Wesr frica qs she continues her mammoth survey. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fugro Discovery was most recently in the port of Cape Town, prior to sailing along the Atlantic coast towards West Africa as she continues her mammoth survey involving circumnavigating Africa.   Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Fugro Discovery had arrived from Durban where she had a short 2 day stay before sailing on 5 July for Cape Town. Her 15 day voyage presumably included a survey off Durban, as this is where the 2Africa cable will come ashore on South Africa’s East Coast. Ngqura is the where the cable will come ashore for the South Coast and Cape Town (Duynefontein) is the landing point for the cable for the West Coast.

Fugro’s survey vessels have been contracted to circumnavigate the entire coast of Africa to determine the best route for laying the cable on the seabed, and the best route for bringing it onshore and preparation for the installation of what will become the world’s largest fibre-optic communications cable is currently well underway.

Fugro Discovery had completed surveying along the South African Indian Ocean coast and would now proceed along the west coast and into Namibian waters. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fugro Discovery had completed surveying along the South African Indian Ocean coast and would now proceed along the west coast and into Namibian waters. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

At just under 37,000 km in length, the 2Africa cable will provide connectivity to an initial 16 Africa countries with 21 landings in these 16 African nations. It will form a critical part of meeting the African Union’s ambition of ensuring internet connections for all by 2030. Another landing point for the cable is Nigeria and Fugro Discovery sailed from Cape Town on 23 July at 09h00, heading north with a destination merely given as ‘Survey Site’ and an ETA in six days time, so Nigeria is looking likely.

Built in 1997 by Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej (Naval Shipyard) at Gdynia in Poland, Fugro Discovery is 70 metres in length and has a deadweight of 1,350 tons. She is powered by a single MaK 8M32 8 cylinder 2 stroke main engine providing 3,590 bhp (2,640 kW) to give her a maximum service speed of 13 knots. Her auxiliary machinery includes a single GMC 16V92 generating set producing 690 kW, and a Detroit 12V92TA emergency generating set providing 513 kW.

Some of the gear on board the sophisticated survey vessel, Fugro Discovery. Picture by 'Dockrat' and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Some of the gear on board the sophisticated survey vessel, Fugro Discovery. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned and operated by Fugro Marine Services BV of Leidschendam in Holland, the survey fit of Fugro Discovery is extensive and includes Echo Sounders, Multibeam Echo Sounders, Sidescan Sonar, Sub-Bottom Profiler, Magnetometer, Seabed Sampler, Air Gun and Streamer, an ROV and a full suite of data processing computers. This fit proved invaluable in 2016 as a result of what today is still a continuing mystery. Namely the disappearance of flight MH370 on 8th March 2014.

After the initial aerial search had been completed, acoustic beacon search and a sonar survey had failed to locate the missing airliner, it was decided by the Australian based Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC), situated in Canberra, that an underwater search would be the next phase of the operation to locate MH370. This would take place following a bathymetric survey of the seabed in the Indian Ocean search area.

The stern view of Fugro Discovery on her berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The stern view of Fugro Discovery on her berth in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Contracted by JACC in October 2014 to conduct a bathymetric survey of that part of the Southern Indian Ocean where the flight is thought to have disappeared, Fugro Discovery was sent into Durban to prepare for the survey. Once her fitting out was complete she sailed for Fremantle to load further search equipment and to take onboard the specialist mission crew. She spent the next ten months producing a bathymetric map of the seafloor, which was previously uncharted and poorly mapped.

Once that survey was complete, the next phase of conducting a towed sidescan sonar survey, coupled with investigative autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), could take place. The search for missing flight MH370 was spread over a vast swath of the Indian Ocean, covered a huge surface area of the ocean and took a great deal of time to complete, with Fugro Discovery being one of three advanced survey vessels undertaking the role of hoping to spot the last resting place of the missing aircraft.

The bridge and accommodation section of Fugro Discovery. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The bridge and accommodation section of Fugro Discovery. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

In late January 2016 Fugro Discovery was forced to terminate her search when one of her towfish sonars collided with an unknown underwater mud volcano. The umbilical line from Fugro Discovery was severed in the crash and the sonar and 4,500 metres of cable were lost in a water depth of 2,200 metres. Thankfully, another of the three survey vessels in the area, HAVILA HARMONY was able to retrieve the sonar, and with a new cable fitted, Fugro Discovery returned to the search area in late February 2016. At this point, over 85,000 km2, of the 120,000 km2 search area had been surveyed.

By August 2016, the search area had been fully surveyed, with no luck in locating the missing airliner. As such, the Australian Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) released Fugro discovery from the search and she left the area on 11th August and returned to Fremantle. To this day the mystery of the missing Malaysian Boeing 777-200 airliner, en-route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, and her 239 passengers and crew remains unsolved. Parts of the doomed aircraft started washing up on the shores of Reunion and Madagascar some years later after drifting across the Indian Ocean, but what actually happened, and where her flight terminated in the South Indian Ocean, far from her original planned flight path, is still unresolved.

Added 25 July 2021


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The LR1 Aframax tanker Serengeti (IMO ) arrives in port at Cape Town and is manoeuvred into her berth at the tanker basin. Picture is by 'Dockrat' and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The LR1 Aframax tanker Serengeti (IMO ) arrives in port at Cape Town and is manoeuvred into her berth at the tanker basin. Picture is by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

In the past year, the United States government has slapped hefty sanctions on Nicolas Maduro and his Venezuelan regime, mostly connected with preventing the export of crude oil from Venezuela. Some companies found ways to circumvent the sanctions regime, and with all of the spot market tanker traffic that is currently calling at South African ports, it was only a matter of time before one of these vessels previously active in the Venezuelan oil trade would arrive at either Durban or Cape Town.

On 20th July at 18h00 the LR1 Aframax tanker SERENGETI (IMO 9403554) arrived in Table Bay from Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, and immediately entered Cape Town harbour, where she was berthed at the long tanker berth in the Duncan Dock to discharge her refined products cargo.

Built in 2009 by Sungdong Shipbuilding at Tongyeong in South Korea, Serengeti is 228 metres in length and has a deadweight of 74,998 tons. She is powered by a single Doosan MAN-B&W 6S60MC 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 16,642 bhp (12,240 kW), which drives a fixed pitch propeller to give a service speed of 15 knots. She has 14 cargo tanks and has a cargo carrying capacity of 83,104 m3.

Against a blue sky he harbour tugs assist Serengeti to her tanker berth. Picture by 'Dockrat', as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Against a blue sky he harbour tugs assist Serengeti to her tanker berth. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned by Tidebay Limited of Athens, Serengeti is operated and managed by Dynacom Tankers Management, also of Athens. She is a spot market tanker and has had no recent history of supplying fuel products to African ports, other than a single port call to Port Louis in Mauritius back in November 2020. In what is becoming a common anti-piracy measure, to prevent forced entry to the superstructure, Serengeti has had burglar bars added to all portholes on the accommodation block, including on the bridge.

Back in April 2019, in order to avoid American sanctions which were imposed in January 2019, tankers picking up Venezuelan oil products were reported to be using ‘co-loads’ and ‘false berthing’ by calling into nearby Trinidad and Tobago waters for a few hours, possibly obtaining new bills of lading, and then setting off again for another intermediate port, usually Singapore or Gibraltar, thus raising suspicions with the authorities that Venezuelan cargoes were being hidden, by disguising their origin.

This method was a second attempt by the Venezuelan state oil company to hide the destination and origin of oil exports. Immediately after the imposition of US sanctions, two tankers that loaded in Venezuela were involved in ship-to-ship transfers off Gibraltar. On this second occasion, three tankers were identified as carrying out ‘false berthing’ voyages, one of them being Serengeti, whose destination after ‘false berthing’ in Trinidad was given as Gibraltar.

The tanker Serengeti arrived in Cape Town harbour from Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, Picture by 'Dockrat' and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The tanker Serengeti arrived in Cape Town harbour from Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Marine intelligence at the time stated that there was no suggestion that any of the three shipments were in breach of US sanctions. Venezuela is entitled to sell oil in order to pay off state debt, but not for commercial gain. The other two vessels were showing Singapore, via the Cape of Good Hope, as their next port of call.

Between January and March 2019, Serengeti had made two voyages between Venezuela and Gibraltar, and also carried a cargo of naphtha from the Eastern Mediterranean to Venezuela on behalf of the Russian state owned oil company, Rosneft. In June 2020, as a result of potential sanctions busting by third party tankers, the US authorities threatened that they would begin blacklisting any vessels involved in shipping oil from Venezuela that could not be proven to be cargoes being used to pay off state debt.

Just before this threat became real, in May 2020, Serengeti had loaded a cargo of Venezuelan oil, bound for Singapore. One month later one of Dynacom Shipping Management tankers was added to the blacklist, and another Dynacom tanker was turned around before she arrived in Venezuela to pick up a cargo. Blacklisting was quite a severe sanction for a shipping company as it meant that not only were vessels to be banned from entering any American port, but they would be barred from making transactions in US dollars, something which no shipping company could afford to have happen to them.

The accomodation section of Serengeti, showing the burglar (pirate) guards on all the portholes. Picture by 'Dockrat', featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The accomodation section of Serengeti, showing the burglar (pirate) guards on all the portholes. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

After Serengeti had reached Singapore, the cargo destination was changed to South Korea. On 16th June when in the South China Sea between Hong Kong and the Philippines, she reported a crewmember missing. The Second Engineer Officer had disappeared overnight, and was only discovered to be missing when he failed to arrive for his duty in the Engine Room the next morning. Despite an extensive search, the two Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres in Hong Kong and Manila called off the search after 72 hours after no trace of the missing crewman was found. The officer, from India, was on the ship well after his contract had expired, but due to global Covid restrictions at the time, he could not be relieved.

Added 25 July 2021


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Flag Waves: House Flags from the National Maritime Museum

NEW BOOKS, Fkag Waves under review in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Flag Waves – House Flags from the National Maritime Museum
By Sue Prichard
Four Corners Books
152 pages, £20.00
ISBN 978 1 909829 17 6

House flags identify the owner of the vessel. Let me turn to A Dictionary of Sea Terms revised by Peter Clissold, an acquaintance from way back who sadly crossed the bar long ago. In this work issued in 1985, an edition of one first published in 1920, we learn that this example of maritime heraldry is: ‘A square flag displaying the device and colours adopted by any merchant shipping company.’

Of these our readers will be, of course, familiar while those of a certain age may recall Brown’s Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamships of years ago. Lloyd’s also produced a guide as did the Liverpool Journal of Commerce. Brown’s of Glasgow are the publishers of the famous Almanac, which first appeared in 1876, and a wealth of shipping textbooks that have seen generations pursue the seagoing career. They also produce ships’ stationery.

In Flag Waves there is an introduction by Sue Prichard, Senior Curator: Arts, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, to what is claimed to be the first book to examine the symbols and motifs of a remarkable museum collection providing origins of house flag design (and jacks and ensigns) with heraldry, geometric form, material, and the role of company flags with 113 examples shown. We are also introduced to the subject of vexillology, the study of flags.

For my own service, the Trinity House (incorporated by Henry VIII in 1514), is shown its jack whose design is based on a four-ship configuration from the coat of arms granted in 1573 by Elizabeth I. The jack of the sister-service, Irish Lights, is also depicted. Until the mid-20th century this incorporated the cross of St George.

House flags of H Hogarth and Alfred Holt, in Flag Waves by Sue Pritchard, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
House flags of H Hogarth and Alfred Holt, in Flag Waves by Sue Prichard

It is refreshing to be reminded of some of the companies, long gone or absorbed into others, whose house flags became recognised the world over and House Flags depicts a fine locker of bunting by: American Mail Line, Anchor Line (created in 1899 and formerly Handysides & Henderson), Australind Steam Shipping Co Ltd (formed 1904), Baltic Trading Co Ltd, Bamburgh Shipping Co Ltd (formed 1956), Belfast Steam Ship Co Ltd (formed 1852) to, at the end of the alphabet, Tyne Tees Steam Shipping Co Ltd, Ulster Steamship Co Ltd, United Baltic Corporation Ltd (founded 1919 as a partnership between the East Asiatic Company of Copenhagen and Andrew Weir of London), United Towing Ltd (formed 1920), United Towing Salvage, Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd, Wyre Trawlers and Zillah Shipping Co Ltd (formed 1949) not forgetting, amidships, Ellerman’s Hall Line Ltd (founded 1864), Esso (1912), Geest Line Ltd (the British company of a Dutch family of 1935), Guinness (who purchased it first ship in 1913 and conveyed bulk stout to 1993), Alfred Holt, Houlder Brothers, Niarchos Ltd (formed 1952), North Thames Gas Board and Furness Withy & Co. The last-named incorporated as a company in 1891 upon the amalgamation of Christopher Furness’ business in West Hartlepool and London with Edward Withy’s shipbuilding yard in Hartlepool.

To many of the examples illustrated there is a paragraph or two by way of company history. In all this is a splendid example of heraldry and design from our maritime world.


Reviewed by Paul Ridgway
London Correspondent

Added 25 July 2021


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MAIB report on Stolt Groenland explosion & fire Sept 2019

The actual explosion as it occurred in Ulsan, South Korea on 28 September 2019. Picture by Yonhap, featured in Africva PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The actual explosion as it occurred in Ulsan, South Korea on 28 September 2019. Picture by Yonhap

UK MAIB Accident Investigation Report 9/2021

On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured causing an explosion and fire.* The tanker was moored alongside a general cargo berth in Ulsan, Republic of Korea and the Singapore registered chemical tanker Bow Dalian was moored outboard. Ignition of the styrene monomer vapour resulted in a fireball, which reached the road bridge above. Both vessels were damaged, and two crew suffered minor injuries. Fifteen emergency responders were injured during the fire-fighting, which lasted for over six hours.

* See our report of the explosion and fire HERE

Rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. Elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Although the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated cargo, the potential for heat transfer through intermediate tanks was not fully appreciated or assessed.

Critical temperature limits had been reached before the vessel berthed under the road bridge in Ulsan. The tanker’s crew did not monitor the temperature of the styrene monomer during the voyage, and therefore were not aware of the increasingly dangerous situation. A similar dangerous styrene monomer polymerisation incident had occurred a couple of weeks earlier on board another Stolt Tankers BV ship, Stolt Focus. The heat generated by the polymerisation process was noticed before the critical runaway temperature was reached. The styrene monomer cargoes on board both tankers was loaded at a similar time from the same tank in Houston and were exposed to similar environmental conditions. The incident on board Stolt Focus was not reported to the ship’s Flag State or other masters in the Stolt Tankers BV fleet.

Following the accident, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea, prohibited ship-to-ship transfer operations for dangerous cargo on general cargo berths in Ulsan.

Stolt Tankers BV took immediate action to ensure that the temperatures of all cargoes carried on board its ships were monitored and reported to its shore management. It also took steps to enhance crew awareness on the hazards of inhibited and heat sensitive cargoes. The company is said to be developing technological and administrative initiatives to assist with the safe stowage and monitoring of heat sensitive cargoes.

A recommendation has been made to Stolt Tankers BV aimed at ensuring the wider marine chemical sector benefits from the lessons learned from the Stolt Focus incident and research initiatives that were carried out as a result of this accident.

Recommendations have also been made to the Cayman Island Shipping Registry, the Chemical Distribution Institute and Plastics Europe (Styrene Producers Association). These are intended to assist in ensuring that the guidance provided in certificates of inhibitor and styrene monomer handling guides is consistent and achievable given the limitations of equipment and testing facilities on board ships.

This investigation was carried out by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) on behalf of the Cayman Islands Government in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the MAIB and the Red Ensign Group Category 1 registries of Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

MAIB Accident Investigation Report 9/2021 was published on 20 July 2021 and may be found HERE

This article is based on material kindly provided by the UK MAIB.
MAIB Crown Copyright 2021 ©




Reported by Paul Ridgway

Added 25 July 2021


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SAIMENA joins forces with IZA on zinc coatings for ships

In an article by Kevin Watson last Thursday (22 July 2021), it was announced that the South African Institute of Marine Engineers and Naval Architects (SAIMENA) is collaborating with the International Zinc Association (IZA) to promote zinc thermal spraying for the local ship-repair industry.

Rear Admiral (JG) Kevin Watson (ret), is the President of SAIMENA.

SAIMENA is the professional body driving the growth and upskilling of the South African marine engineering sector, and is working hard to bring new and advanced expertise to the fingertips of the marine engineering profession.

“We continue to advance and promote maritime engineering knowhow and continuous development for marine engineers, ship repair engineers and designers. Working with professional bodies such as IZA enhances our capability,” comments Admiral Watson.

“We have excellent local expertise to assist SAIMENA in realising its mandate of growing a vibrant, skilled marine engineering sector,” said Simon Norton from the IZA Africa Desk.

Zinc thermal spraying can be applied to a variety of steel ships, from trawlers to warships, fast patrol boats and fisheries patrol boats. This includes superstructures, fittings and onboard steelwork which after zinc thermal spraying can be further coated by the application of a zinc rich primer and an epoxy coat to give a superb long lasting duplex coating system.

The advantage of zinc thermal spraying is that it is possible to apply zinc coatings of varying thickness but typically to about 100 microns. Spraying allows the thickness of the coating to be controlled and varied, even on different areas of the same structure and/or parts.

Thermal spraying makes it possible to apply zinc coatings to structures and components that are too large for hot-dip galvanizing or have to be zinc coated in situ. The metal coating is laid down in a single application. Zinc coatings also have excellent adhesion to steel and resistance to abrasion, enabling the structure to withstand rough usage. However, most of all they provide a barrier to the environment and offer galvanic protection to the steel.

All grades of steel, including highly alloyed steels, can be thermal spray coated. Spraying does not affect the metallurgical structure of the steel. Since zinc adheres and coats instantly, no drying time is needed. Designated top coating operations can start immediately, whereas paint systems in comparable categories might require days for cure.

In terms of lifecycle costs, Norton explains that the initial coating application costs are minimal compared to the maintenance costs over the life of the structure. Continuous maintenance is not required with a properly applied zinc thermal sprayed coating. A single application provides excellent corrosion protection, including areas where minor mechanical damage may have exposed the steel. Further application of organic epoxy top coats makes for an outstanding corrosion protection system.

The IZA’s collaboration with SAIMENA forms part of a long-term strategy to promote the advanced upskilling of South African engineers, the growth of the local maritime industry, as well as increasing the uptake of zinc in industry, where its primary application is for the corrosion protection of steel. Since the closure of the country’s only zinc refinery in 2011, it has been heavily reliant on costly imports, a situation that the IZA Africa Desk hopes to turn around by campaigning for the establishment of a new local zinc refinery.

“This is especially important given the ambitious infrastructure delivery programme plan being promoted by the government, which will require large tonnages of zinc coated steel,” notes Norton.

“Our association with SAIMENA is an example of how we are reaching out to the various professional bodies and associations to promote the benefits of specialised processes such as zinc thermal spraying,” said Norton.

Added 25 July 2021


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How to spot the warning signs of wildlife crime in the maritime industry

Weaknesses and loopholes in maritime supply chains are often exploited by traffickers to smuggle illegal wildlife and timber products to feed growing demand, predominantly in Asian markets, says the WWF (World Wide Funds for Nature).

TRAFFIC, a NGO organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants, and WWF are supporting the shipping sector to detect illegalities passing through global waters.

Legal wildlife trade is a complex business, supplying local and international demand for wildlife products across numerous industries. However, a growing, parallel illegal business is taking advantage of weaknesses in maritime supply chains to illegally transport wildlife products from source to destination markets.

“It’s estimated that by volume, 72–90% of wildlife products are trafficked by sea. Around 90% of international trade in goods by volume are carried by sea, so you can see how detecting illegal wildlife trade can be like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Livia Esterhazy, Chair of WWF’s Asia Pacific Growth Strategy (APGS) and CEO of WWF-New Zealand.

“Wildlife smugglers are growing bolder by secreting illicit cargo into commercial supply chains. To tackle this and respond proactively to the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT), we needed practical, handy detection guides to assist freight forwarders and ocean liners to detect suspicious shipments even without opening the cargo containers,” Esterhazy added.

Often traffickers adapt their modus operandi to avoid detection in the smuggling of illegal products. This can vary depending on the wildlife commodity type, their origin, and target consumers, but frequently involves facilitating corruption throughout the maritime transport infrastructure.

The panda forms the logo of the WWF, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The panda is the logo of the WWF

Bribes are commonplace in illegal wildlife trade, taking place at source, transit, and export stages.

At times, these bribes persuade employees to help falsify documentation. One type of documentation critical to regulate the legal trade and ensure it does not threaten the species’ survival is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits and certificates for Appendix listed species.

“The smuggling of CITES-protected species is an extremely lucrative trade for criminal networks and could have major ramifications for the species’ survival in the wild. This compendium targets supporting the shipping sector to better identify potential signs of tampering or non-compliance of CITES permits,” said Monica Zavagli, TRAFFIC Programme Manager for Transport Sector.


“By definition, illegally traded wildlife does not undergo hygiene, sanitary, and phytosanitary controls; as a result, illegal wildlife trade carries risks to public health and can contribute to the spread of zoonotic diseases and invasive species around the globe,” added Zavagli.

To address these issues, TRAFFIC and WWF, have worked with multiple partners to produce guidance to help the sea cargo industry identify wildlife crime. ‘The Red Flag Compendium for Wildlife and Timber Trafficking in Containerised Cargo’ details the warning signs of corruption, smuggling, other related crimes and outlines red flags and additional tools to identify prolifically trafficked CITES-listed species, including big cats, specific marine life, large mammal species such as rhino, elephant, and timber.

This compendium includes information on at-risk routes as well as typical indicators of illicit activities such as questionable paperwork and discrepancies in information like value, weight, and appearance. Irregular behaviour, such as consignments split across multiple shipments, last-minute request for shipment clearance and abnormal or sudden changes in routes or destinations may be signs of illegal action.

By highlighting the potential risks in this compendium, shipping companies can implement greater safeguarding measures to protect their employees, business and nature. This information is critical to protecting the integrity of maritime supply chains from operational, economic, security and zoonotic health risks.

“We know traffickers use existing transport infrastructure to move their illicit goods throughout the world and have developed sophisticated networks to facilitate this movement by exploiting weaknesses and loopholes and by facilitating corruption on a massive scale. Maritime supply chains are very complex but through our cross-sector collaborations within United for Wildlife (UfW), we are working with partners across the globe to disrupt these networks and address this threat,” said Lord Hague, Chair of United for Wildlife.

Added 25 July 2021


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IN CONVERSATION: Violence in South Africa: an uprising of elites, not of the people

Steven Friedman, University of Johannesburg

From time to time, South Africa is rudely reminded that its past continues to make its present and future difficult. It does not always recognise this reality when it sees it.

The latest – and most shocking – reminder is the violence which followed the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma. The mayhem devastated KwaZulu-Natal, the home of Zuma and his faction of the governing African National Congress (ANC), and damaged Gauteng, the economic heartland which also houses hostels in which working migrants from KwaZulu-Natal live.

The violence was seen as a new threat to the democracy established in 1994. But, while it was severe, it was a symptom of a past the country has yet to face, not a future it did not see coming. Even the one aspect which was new – the scale of violence in KwaZulu-Natal – was a product of realities which have been evident for years.

Destructive violence is frightening. In South Africa, it is even more alarming because its middle class, which monopolises the debate, assumes that it is only a matter of time before the country is engulfed in conflict. This makes it important to point out that, as severe as the violence was, it does not mean that the country’s democracy is in deep danger.

The South African mainstream, which expected democracy to usher in a perfect country and is repeatedly angered that it didn’t, ignores a core reality – that democracies are tested all the time. For people who like power – who exist in all societies and at all times – there is nothing natural or necessary about democracy. It forces them to obey rules they would rather ignore, listen to voices they would rather not hear, and allow others to take decisions they would prefer to take.

This means that there is nothing fatal about democracy being tested – it always is. The question is whether it passes the test. The violence did test democracy. Whether President Cyril Ramaphosa is right that it was a failed insurrection is open to debate. But the violence was aimed at ensuring that democracy did not work. Democracy survived the assault. Whether this test strengthens it depends on whether the issues which caused the violence are addressed. And that depends on understanding what the test was.

Elite uprising

The violence has been widely seen as an expression of anger and frustration by people living in poverty, which has been much worsened in South Africa by the impact of COVID-19. But there was no revolt of the poor – it was an assault on democracy by elites.

The KwaZulu-Natal violence was frighteningly new because much of it did not follow the familiar pattern of conflict in South Africa and other countries. While there was looting, a common response to conflict by people living in poverty, there was also an assault on infrastructure, destruction of businesses and the “disappearance” of large stocks of bullets. None of this squares with what we might expect people fighting poverty to do during a conflict.

Nor was the violence a popular uprising. There were no large public demonstrations. The scale of the KwaZulu-Natal violence was huge but you don’t need many people to set fire to electricity installations or factories. The damage could have been done with minimal public support and almost certainly was. This was an uprising of elites, not of the people, although some joined the looting as we would expect people in poverty to do.

Ironically, the claims that this was about poverty or the COVID-19 lockdown blame the people for something the elites did.

But which elites? It will take a while before we know exactly what happened. But there are two elements in reports of the violence which suggest that it was a product of realities which have been evident to researchers for years.

First, although South Africa’s democracy is the product of a negotiated settlement, it followed armed conflict between the minority government and the forces fighting for majority rule. This makes the country another example of what some academics call “war transitions”: change from one political system to another where there are armed people on both sides of the divide.

In these cases, the textbook idea that only the state uses violence and does this within rules which are clear to all does not apply. Some people still have weapons and armed networks, whether they are inside or outside the government, and are not necessarily bound by the rules.

Unsettling reality

This has been a South African reality since 1994. It shows in constant factional battles between state intelligence operatives, in divisions between ex-combatants in the fight against apartheid, in security companies and criminal gangs whose members bore arms before 1994.

Their political loyalties may lie with members of the faction, not the governing party, let alone the state. Their networks may be devoted not only to a common political goal but also to gaining wealth and economic influence. This has made keeping order far more difficult. It can also make creating disorder easier.

The second is that local councillors allegedly played an important role in the violence. This too would reflect a long-standing reality. Attention to corruption in South Africa focuses on national government, but local and regional networks devoted to getting richer at public expense are far more deep-rooted. There is a clear link between them and violence – KwaZulu-Natal in particular has seen repeated killings of councillors or local officials who tried to resist corruption.

Both the people under arms and the local networks had ample reason to mobilise their power for harm – Zuma’s imprisonment may well have signalled that power had shifted in ways which threatened the survival of the networks. They may not have been trying an insurrection, which means they were trying to seize power. But they were doing whatever they could to ensure that their networks survived.

Unfinished business

So, while the scale of the violence may have been new, its origins are not. They are deeply embedded in South Africa’s unfinished business, its inability to create a single source of public order or to change an economic balance of power which ensures that ambitious people with the means to destroy see their networks as the only route to wealth.

The violence wreaked its damage because South Africa’s journey to democracy remains incomplete. It sends a sharp message that the country must look its past far more squarely in the eye and find ways to change it before it can be confident about avoiding more of what happened in KwaZulu-Natal.The Conversation

Steven Friedman, Professor of Political Studies, University of Johannesburg

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Added 25 July 2021


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After 48 hours in the sea, another survivor of Niko Ivanka is rescued

Sea Shepherd's Viking craft approaching the Sam Simon with survivors on board. Picture: Sea Shepherd, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sea Shepherd’s Viking craft approaching the Sam Simon with survivors on board. Picture: Sea Shepherd

After spending 48 hours in the sea in the Gulf of Guinea, a seafarer has been rescued by the crew of the SAM SIMON, a ship belonging to the conservation group, Sea Shepherd.

The crew of the Sam Simon had been alerted to the distress of the Liberian-built and registered cargo vessel, NIKO IVANKA,* that the vessel was taking on water off the coast of Marshall, south-east of Monrovia.

* See the story of the Niko Ivanka sinking HERE.

After reaching the scene and at close to midnight six survivors were spotted in a liferaft from the Niko Ivanka. With the support of Liberian Coast Guard sailors on board the Sam Simon, the six survivors on the liferaft were taken on board. At that stage the survivors from the Niko Ivanka had been in the water for nine hours.

They confirmed that their ship had sunk and that when they left the port of Monrovia there were between 26 and 28 persons on board.

The Liberian-built landing craft type of vessel, Niko Ivanka. The vessel left port without permission of the Liberian Maritime Authority after being detained for not meeting rudimentray safety requirements. The ship's owner has been arrested, according to reports. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Liberian-built landing craft type of vessel, Niko Ivanka. The vessel left port without permission of the Liberian Maritime Authority after being detained for not meeting basic safety requirements. The ship’s owner has been arrested, according to reports

Some time afterwards those on board the Sam Simon heard voices in the darkness calling for help. Another five persons were rescued after being in the water for 13 hours. Two of the five were wearing lifejackets and the other three were holding on to them.

This brought the total of those rescued to eleven, one of whom was a woman. They received medical treatment on board from the ship’s doctor, who is also an emergency room doctor.

Using the ship’s searchlight the Sam Simon continued with the search. Meanwhile two tugs had joined the search for survivors for the remaining 17 missing persons.

Then, on 19 July and after 48 hours since the report went out of the sinking of Niko Ivanka, another man wearing a lifejacket was discovered alive in the ocean, bringing the total of those rescued to twelve.

Added 25 July 2021


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