Storm-Battered Port of Durban Resumes Operations

Image Courtesy: SAMSA

Marine operations at the Port of Durban have partially resumed following disruptions caused by a severe storm on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 that wreaked havoc across the port resulting in three groundings. 

According to an update from Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), as of October 11, 80% of the navigable area of the port is safe for marine operations.

The results of the sounding surveys that were conducted indicate that there is some obstruction on the seabed that could pose a risk to navigation.

As informed earlier by Chief Operating Officer for SAMSA, Sobantu Tilayi, there were about three containers believed to have been lost into the water with the exact position unknown, and they pose a danger to navigation within the vicinity.

TNPA said that it has launched operations in channels that are clear from obstruction, in the interest of ensuring safe navigation of vessels.

“We are extremely appreciative of the excellent collaboration between TNPA and various stakeholders who acted quickly and efficiently to partially restore normality at the port. Our immediate focus is to continue with the implementation of the recovery operations,” TNPA Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge said.

Port teams remain on scene, and the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is planned to remain in place until TNPA has restored normality at the Port of Durban.

At this stage, Durban marine operations are anticipated to resume by midday Thursday, October 12, pending the outcome of the sounding surveys, the port authority informed.

The storm that hit Durban on Tuesday saw three vessels running aground and several others breaking free from its moorings.

MSC’s 9,113-TEU containership MSC Ines was one of five container vessels affected by the storm, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said in its latest update.

MSC Susanna and Maritime Newanda that broke moorings had to be held by harbor tugs to prevent them also running aground.

Bow Triumph, a 183-metre long product tanker, MS New York, a 330-metre long container vessel, and MSC Ines have since been refloated.

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