Port of Durban Grinds to a Halt, Three Ships Grounded

Three vessels have run aground in the Port of Durban, South Africa, amid heavy weather that has resulted in the suspension of all vessel movements in the port, Transnet National Ports Authority informed.

MSC Ines containership, owned by Switzerland-based MSC container line, is said to be among the affected vessels as it has drifted into the mouth of the Port of Durban abeam.

“Transnet’s marine services team and tugboats are assisting with several emergencies. These include the grounding of three vessels in the Port of Durban. Other vessels have broken mooring lines and are drifting in the channel,” the port authority added.

“Whilst we are still in the process of determining damage to port infrastructure we are relieved that no injuries have been reported. Several TNPA premises have been flooded including the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence in Bayhead Road. Terminal and rail operations have been suspended to ensure the safety of people and equipment.”

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely via Port Control and the Harbour Masters’ offices, and will keep stakeholders updated,” Transnet noted.

The inclement weather is also expected to disrupt operations at the Port of Richards Bay.

Sea Rescue’s NSRI stations in Durban, Shelly Beach and Port Edward informed that emergency services are fully deployed assisting with floods in and around the Kwa-Zulu Natal North and South coasts, the South African charity said.

The heavy weather has seen winds reach the strength of up to 50 knots South Westerly at peak in places, and heavy rain causing flash floods.

Furthermore, yachts and boats in the small craft harbour and at the Point Yacht Club (PYC) have broken moorings. NSRI Durban rescue crews are said to be at PYC assisting corral boats and yachts broken free of moorings.

“Emergency services continue to urge residents to stay indoors and to stay safe and to monitor the weather office for weather safety updates,” Sea Rescue pointed out.

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