The marooned community of Enkovukeni at Umhlab’uyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal is finally breathing easy after receiving a total five motorized boats on Monday, handed over to the Inkosi Tembe by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.
The boats – all ready to be operated by newly trained skippers from the community who were previously unemployed youths – are a product of a joint initiative between the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) supported by the Department of Transport (DoT) and private sector companies, among them shipping group, Amsol as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.
Transport Department Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in black outfit) and some senior government officials at provincial and local government level in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi on board a boat donated by private sector companies to the water-locked community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalingana on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal on Friday
It’s a joint initiative that began as the Enkovukeni Outreach Project three years ago as a gesture of goodwill in the spirit of the Nelson Mandela International Day, sparked by an outcry from the Enkovukeni community after it was trapped for months, unable to move, following heavy rains that swell waterways that make up part of the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park that is a World Heritage Site in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
The first of the five boats (in pictures above) was handed to the community in 2016, followed a while later by another, donated by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Department of Education.
On Monday afternoon during a very wet rainy day – and a day ahead of Tuesday’s reopening of schools towards which children from the about 250 households that make up the village have to daily wade through waist deep water – the community was handed over the last three of the five boats that are intended to assist it with water transport while broader efforts are continuing to establish the feasibility of erecting a permanent bridge in the area.
According to Ms Chikunga at the ceremony on Monday, the building of a permanent bridge across the estuary would be an ideal solution but this would require extensive consultations among several government departments and other affected or interested entities.
From a financial perspective she said, current estimates indicated that it would be a highly expensive exercise largely due to the character of the landscape of the area.
She urged the community to actively engage in the exercise in two ways; first by ensuring it was represented in tasks teams shouldered with responsibility for the feasibility studies, but also in embarking on entrepreneurial initiatives that will financial support pursuit of its aspirations.
“These boats that we are handing over to you today, are not Government or anyone else’s property but your property as a community and which you must protect and preserve as best you can in your own interest. But in addition, you must find ways in which you will raise funds to maintain them with fuel as well as all other necessary repairs,” she said.
For a full address by Ms Chikunga, click on the video below.
Meanwhile, as part of the Nelson Mandela International Day celebration that begun on Sunday this week, Ms Chikunga handed the elderly in the area with blankets as well as dozens of pairs of shoes for school going children.
With foundational schools opening again on Tuesday in South Africa – the day the world over will be observing the United Nation’s sanctioned Nelson Mandela Day – the water surrounded community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabauyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal will also be celebrating a unique event of its kind.
From about 9am on Monday, they will be receiving more boats to assist them manage their daily travels that include school children who daily have to wade through waist deep water just to get to school.
The additional boats hand-over is an initiative of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) that began two years ago and supported by the Department of Transport and several private sector companies in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
On Monday morning, Deputy Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga accompanied by provincial and local government officials, SAMSA and its private sector partners in the initiative, prominent among them being the Natal Sharks Board, will officially hand over two more boats to the community to complete an initiative that began in 2016 in response to pleas from the Enkovukeni community after flood rains marooned it for weeks.
This blog will capture the moment and share with its readers more detail about Monday’s event.
For a full background of the Enkovukeni initiative, Click Here.
South Africa’s claim to being a maritime country and upon whose 3200km long shoreline rests only four of its nine provinces – the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal – does not imply exclusion of the internal provinces from the country’s broad maritime sector activities.
For this and related reasons, this year’s celebration of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) driven World Maritime Day on 27 September 2018 has been officially confirmed as scheduled for Mpumalanga – one of South Africa’s five internal provinces, this one bordering two neighboring countries; Swaziland and Mozambique.
Formal confirmation of Mpumalanga’s official host status for this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations was made by Transport Minister, Dr Bonginkosi Nzimande in Britain recently.
Addressing the IMO Council’s 120th Session in London held from the 02-06 July, Dr Nzimande said observation annually of the World Maritime Day by South Africa was consistent with the country’s full commitment to and unwavering support for the IMO’s activities in the promotion of maritime economies development across the world.
“We are very proud to be members of this organization and we are honoured to have served the IMO Council in the role of Vice Chair for an extended period. Our service to Council is well documented.
“My presence here represents a statement of renewal of our commitment to the IMO and I can assure you that my country and my people are highly impressed and honour many women and men who have contributed to the 70 years’ history of the IMO,” he said.
Consistent with this, Dr Nzimande noted that the IMO’s theme for this year’s celebration would be focused on the United Nations (UN) agency’s 70 year annivessary and committed that South Africa would follow suite.
“As part of South Africa’s commitment with the IMO, South Africa will host World Maritime Day 27-28 September 2018 in Mpumalanga Province. The event will be held for two days under the theme; “IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future.
“During the celebration South Africa will make a career exhibition to showcase careers in the maritime sector to the young South Africans with the aim to introduce more leaners to the careers available in the maritime sector and also to showcase the milestone of the maritime sector to the rest of the local communities,” he confirmed.
Meanwhile, Dr Nzimande also outlined South Africa’s progress with revision of some of its maritime sector legislation, but precisely the Merchant Shipping Act of 1951.
He said: “Mr Chair, my country has recently adopted its Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP). Following the adoption of the CMTP, we are now in the process of realigning our domestic legislation in line with the CMTP and in this regard, we have made great progress in reviewing the Merchant Shipping Act of 1951.
“The Maritime Transport Strategy (MTS) is being finalised.”
Dr Nzimande said further that: “Mr Chair I am reporting on these matters firstly as a way of sharing information on the progress we have made in addressing some of the fundamentals of being a maritime nation but secondly to say that we are open to sharing our experiences through the technical cooperation programme of the organization (IMO).
Dr Nzimande also confirmed South Africa’s new approach to observing the international Day of the Seafarer as had occurred last month, where the event was staged in three of South Africa’s major coastal cities simultaneously for the first time in the eight year history of the event.
He said: “Mr Chair like many other Member States of the IMO, South Africa celebrated on 25 June 2018, the Day of the Seafarer. This year we launched Seafarer Dialogue Platforms (SDPs) in three cities, i.e. Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. I have declared that Seafarers’ Dialogue Platforms will become the feature of the future celebrations of the Day of the Seafarer.”
During the address of the IMO Council session, Dr Nzimande also formally confirmed South Africa’s deposit of the instrument of accession to (formal ratification of) the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F 1995) with the Secretary-General of the IMO.
Summarily, the STCW-F 1995 is an agreement binding on IMO Member States to “undertake to promulgate all laws, decrees, orders and regulations and to take all other steps which may be necessary to give the Convention full and complete effect, so as to ensure that, from the point of view of safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment, seagoing fishing vessel personnel are qualified and fit for their duties.”
Dr Nzimande described South Africa’s submission of its ratification of the convention as signifying the country’s “commitment to bettering the lives of fishing folks.”
Following to this in Cape Town on Wednesday this past week, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) that is responsible for ensuring implementation of the convention held a 6th session of a Fishing Indaba to share the development with domestic stakeholders.
In London, with the formal announcement, Dr Nzimande also urged IMO Member States who had not yet ratified the Cape Town Agreement on the implementation of the Torremolinos Convention to “do the right thing as immediate as possible.”
“In conclusion, permit me Mr Chair to thank the IMO for putting its trust on South Africa by allowing us to host the 2020 IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event. We are exactly 791 days from today to October 2020 when we will welcome many of you to witness the progress we would have made by that time.
“This being the Centenary of two of our liberation heroes, Mr Nelson Mandela and Mrs Albertina Sisulu, let us lead by the example they left for us by being steadfast in our search for solutions to challenges facing shipping today,” he said
See also: Maritime World University post graduate qualifications get South Africa’s nod: Dr Nzimande confirms.
Safety on board South Africa’s fishing industry sea going vessels is among key operations aspects of the sector that can never be left to chance, delegates to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) hosted ‘Fishing Safety Indaba‘ held in Cape Town heard on Wednesday.
According to SAMSA in statement ahead of the event Wednesday, held at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Milnerton, the Fishing Safety Indaba is a part of a series of engagements by SAMSA with its core stakeholders.
Wednesday’s event – the 6th in the series – was hosted by SAMSA’s dedicated Centre for Fishing and whose aim according to the agency, is “to promote the updated fishing safety legislative, technical, operational and financial issues and engage the fishing industry on development issues and growing the blue economy.”
Ms Nondumiso Mfenyana, a Manager in the SAMSA Centre for Fishing, said the Cape Town Indaba was a continuation of a SAMSA’s aim to engage with all sectors of the fishing industry to mainly address issues such as safe fishing.
“The fishing industry is SAMSA’s largest commercial customer, a major employer and contributes both to export earnings and to the GDP of the country. It is important that we ensure regular sittings of this nature in order to keep the industry abreast of developments thereof,” said Ms Mfenyana.
The SAMSA Centre for Fishing is also the secretariat of the National Fishing Forum (NFF) which was established in 2011.
The NFF was initiated to create a platform for stakeholders to share knowledge on common areas of interest, improve collaborations and decision making to avoiding duplication. The forum’s mission is to grow, develop and ensure a competitive South African Fishing industry.
Provisional members were nominated to partake in the steering committee, which was later endorsed as a fully fledges forum at the South African Maritime Industry Conference (SAMIC 2012). In turn, the forum has achieved some of its objectives; although still have some challenges that include the funding of its action plan.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) will launch an investigation into the capsizing of a leisure vessel in Knysna on Wednesday with eleven people on board.
According to SAMSA in a statement in Pretoria on Thursday, the incident reportedly occurred shortly after lunch on Wednesday when the boat, with eleven people on board, including the skipper, capsized.
All the people on board the vessel – described as a 9 metre RIB “adventure harbour cruise” boat with twin 300HP engines known, and named the MOONRAKER – escaped without injury except for shock and suffering cold, said SAMSA.
The organization reported: “At approximately 1300 local time today (4 July 2018), MRCC Cape Town received an initial report via Cape Town Radio informing that NSRI Knysna had launched to assist a small boat that had capsized in Knysna area leaving unknown number of people in the water – all wearing lifejackets. The weather conditions experienced was waves of up to 4 metres and wind speeds of up to 10 knots.
“MRCC Cape Town immediately initiated a MAYDAY relay broadcast for vessels in the area to assist.
“Subsequent reports indicated that the charter boat SPIRIT OF KNYSNA had sighted the capsized Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) and had called NSRI Knysna to assist. The radio call was intercepted by Cape Town Radio.
“MRCC informed Mossel Bay Port Control, SAMSA Mossel Bay and NSRI Mossel Bay to activate and assist.
“SAMSA Mossel Bay established that the name of the capsized RIB was the MOONRAKER (a 9 metre RIB with twin 300HP), a private “adventure harbour cruise” boat operating from Knysna. There had been 11 persons on board and all had been rescued. SAMSA had made contact with the owner of the vessel to confirm information.
“NSRI Mossel Bay confirmed that all of the persons from the MOONRAKER were safe ashore at the rescue base and that there were actually 11 people on board – 10 passengers plus 1 skipper. The survivors were suffering from shock and cold but no injuries. Upon arrival back at the NSRI Knysna additional medical support was provided by the ambulance on-scene. The boat was not recovered.
“Since then NSRI Knysna have relaunched two boats and are attempting to retrieve the capsized boat and debris.”
The seafarers career in South Africa is bound for a major shakeup in the coming months involving three major aspects: a re-look at the status of their qualifications for proper positioning, an overhaul of the process of their intake into the career path, as well as expansion of employment opportunities – the latter expected to involve the establishment of a South African fleet of vessels to do port to port shipments.
The policy shifts by government, driven by the Department of Transport in collaboration with the maritime sector and various others, emerged during observation of the international Day of the Seafarer held in Cape Town on Monday – one of three similar events held also in Port Elizabeth and Durban.
It was the first time for South Africa to observe the annual seafarers’ event at three locations simultaneously on the same day at three venues – the other two being Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Participants at all three events included government and its agencies including the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), higher education and training institutions, industry representatives as well as seafarers, among others.
In Cape Town, Department of Transport acting Chief Director General for Maritime, Mr Dumisani Ntuli said a policy revision was currently underway to shakeup the country’s maritime sector but specifically shipping, with a view to facilitating the establishment of a domestic fleet of vessels to take over port-to-port shipping transport.
Primarily, this was to ensure greater participation of South Africa in the shipping sector involving its own people, but equally important, to create a stable and expanded opportunity for ongoing, sustainable development of a professional cadre of South African seafarers immersed in an own culture.
However, Mr Ntuli also acknowledged an urgent need currently to both address the issue of already qualified seafarers and whose qualifications as well as related experience do not enjoy recognition by the country’s education system in terms of the South African Qualifications Authority.
He said a task team involving appropriate representations from relevant stakeholders would be set up to fast-track the process.
In tandem, the quality of young people entering the profession would also require a re-evaluation as it was being established that some, if not a significant number of people pursuing seafaring for a career were either ill-prepared or simply not suitable for the type of work.
Currently, it emerged, there was a high drop out rate of maritime sector education students by especially cadets, once they get employed fully at sea.
According to Mr Ntuli, the main goal of all the initiatives was to ensure a stable career path for seafarers and that they are absorbed into the shipping transport industry and remain employed for their working lifetime.
With regards the observation of the Day of the Seafarer annually, he said the new format involving the staging of the event in cities across the country’s coastline would remain the feature, primarily to ensure engagement of all stakeholders for a continuous dialogue on matters affecting the sector.
For a detailed presentation of Mr Ntuli’s remarks on this and related matters, Click on the video below.
A full round up of the various participants’ contributions to the discussion at the Cape Town event on Monday will follow soon.
Among the key participants were Ms Leone Louw, a lecturer in maritime studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Mr Rob Whitehead, president of the Society of Master Mariners South Africa, Mr Leon Mouton of the Safety Training Group, Captain Ravi Naicker of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, as well industry and seafarer representatives.
Miss Lelethu Ntuzula. A Deck Cadet
Mr Sanele Hlongwane. Ratings Trainee
Meanwhile, dozens of young and aspirant seafarers attending the event were all enthusiastic about the prospects of their careers given the increasing attention that was now being given to their well-being going into the future.
Among these were Ms Lelethu Ntuzula and Mr Sanele Hlongwane, both in their 20’s – one a deck cadet and the other currently undergoing the first ratings training of its kind on board the SA Agulhas – an initiative of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) together with the TETA, that began three weeks ago in Port Elizabeth.
To hear their views, click on the video below.
Still in Cape Town, about two kilometers or so from the Cape Sun venue of the Cape Town leg of the Day of the Seafarers observation, at the Cape Town harbour, dozens of seafarers, young and old, on board the country’s dedicated cadet training vessel, the St Agulhas, had a cake and a braai, to mark the day, and fun was had by all.
In the other two coastal cities where the event was held, similar sentiment and merriment emerged.
Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operating Officer for SAMSA reiterated the authority’s openness to seafarers and informed those gathered that the overall wellbeing of seafarers was their priority.
Seafarers had to prepare themselves for the challenges associated with working in a diverse and multi-cultural environment, he said.
Some seafarers gathered in Durban asserted that one of the challenges they faced at sea was being perceived as ill-disciplined when they raised labour-related issues with their superiors on-board.
Mr Tilayi said: “It is important for our seafarers to understand that it is the Merchant Shipping Act, rather than the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which governs the labour rights of seafarers.”
He encouraged seafarers to view the maritime industry in its global context, and consider the norms and standards established in the companies in which they worked.
“We encourage all our seafarers to understand the complexities of the industry they serve,” Mr Tilayi said.
In summary the DoT and SAMSA said the maritime industry had the potential to address the high unemployment rate, and a plan of action was necessary to include the following interventions:
Adopt South African models and knowledge to solve the country’s unemployment rate.
Develop and own a South African shipping fleet for economic growth.
Develop a seafarers’ culture and create employment opportunities for qualified South African seafarers.
Develop a career path plan.
Build the fishing industry to accommodate SA seafarers.
Strengthen the capacity of the SA Agulhas to use it as a training vessel for South African seafarers.
Integrate technological advancements in the industry.
The eyes of the maritime sector globally turn their focus on Monday onto the role of one of the most critical key role players in the field, seafarers – upon whose shoulders the movement of ships of all sizes as well as safety of global goods trade rests.
It is observance internationally of the Day of the Seafarer (DosT) in South Africa for the first time, the event led by the Department of Transport (DoT), with assistance by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) will be marked simultaneously in the three coastal cities of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, beginning from about 9am.
Deputy Transport Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (Left) and (former) Transport Minister Mr Joe Masangwanyi (Right ) with Ayanda Miya and Mluleki Khwela – two of the SA Agulhas cadets that returned with the vessel from a trip to Antarctica over 80 days in November 2017 to January 2018. They were invited for the opening of South Africa’s Parliament in
Two of the SA Agulhas 20 cadets that returned with the vessel earlier this year, Ayanda Miya and Mluleki Khwela with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the opening of 2018 installment of the sitting of South African Parliament in February
Participants are expected to include several role players in the country’s maritime sector inclusive of government agencies, shipping and related company representatives, higher education and related institutions, seafarers and others.
And central to the events, in addition to messages both by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Department of Transport, will be a round-table session (Duban) and panel discussions (Port Elizabeth and Cape Town) on matters affecting seafarers.
(For a preview of the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga’s full message for DosT pre-recorded earlier, and for that of the IMO, Click on the videos below)
According to the DoT, for this reason, the South African Day of the Seafarer event will have as its supportive domestic theme: “A Dialogue with the South African Seafarer on the Day of the Seafarer.”
Reflecting on how the annual observation of the seafarers day came about eight years ago, the department says the IMO designated 25 June as the international Day of the Seafarer “as a way to recognize that almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport.
“International shipping transports more than 90 percent of global trade to peoples and communities all over the world and about 20 million containers are traveling across the oceans every day.
“Driven by the IMO together with partner countries including South Africa, this year’s Seafarers Day celebration theme is “seafarers’ well-being”. IMO asserts that the year 2017 and 2018 have seen strong momentum in the industry to address seafarer’s well-being, particularly their mental health.” says the DoT
Also noting that “South Africa, as a member of IMO has traditionally supported and participated in the Seafarers Day celebration,” the department says the country’s approach this year to include a stakeholder dialogue as part of the observation is intended to ensure that seafarers are not just celebrated, but also given opportunity to share their owns views about matters that impact their profession.
“The Department of Transport wants to create a platform to engage with seafarers in order to better understand the challenges they are facing and together to develop responses to the identified challenges. The purpose of participation is to create awareness about the role of seafarers and to inculcate the seafaring culture and excellence in South Africa.
“The IMO encourages governments, shipping organizations, companies, ship owners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully,” it says.
Monday’s observation of the Day of the Seafarer in South Africa in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban will then have its main goals; the initiation of a dialogue with the country’s seafarers, with the intention to find possible solutions on how to tackle challenges they may be faced with, but also provide ideas and projects to improve seafarers prospects for placement on ships worldwide and related opportunities, says the DoT.
Captain Pretty Molefe
Captain Tsepo Motloutsi
TRAILBLAZERS: The Department of Maritime Studies has teamed up with industry and the College of Cape Town to train marine engineering students in workshop skills which are needed before they start working on ships
Notably, the DoT says it also wants to focus attention on the role of especially female seafarers and about whom it says, remain under represented in the shipping subsector.
“The Department of Transport will use the Seafarers Day to launch an annual platform of engagement on issues affecting seafarers including promotion of female seafarers. Shipping is one such wherein women constitute a very miniscule part of the shipboard workforce.
“The Seafarers day is a great opportunity for seafarers and maritime professionals in general from all sectors to promote and raise awareness of the value of seafaring culture and practice including training and development. The industry still foresees a shortfall of skilled, licensed officers and engineers in future years.
In keeping with modern communication trends, two hashtags are being used to highlight the event: #SupportSeafarersWellbeing through dialogue and #GoodDayatSea
According to the DoT, The first hashtag can be used by shipping companies and others within the industry, “to show how they create opportunities and decent working environment for seafarers and how they address mental health issues among their seagoing staff.
“The second hashtag can be used to engage the general public, to wish them a good day at sea and encourage seafarers to share photos of themselves in a positive work environment.”
Meanwhile, in support of the ‘dialogue’ aspect of the observation, a couple of weeks ago SAMSA launched an initiative involving video interviews with local and international seafarers currently in South Africa, but also a social media initiative encouraging seafarers anywhere else to share their stories.
In the video interview series dubbed: “In Conversation with Seafarers – In celebration of Seafarers’ Day 2018′ 10 seafarers ( five female and five male including three international) shared their joys as well as frustrations that they experience in the profession, yet with most stating that seafaring is remains their first love and so it shall remain for a while yet.
To view the interviews (averaging 15 minutes each) go to the “Day of the Seafarer 2018” page or Click Here.
Of Monday’s Day of the Seafarer observation event nationally, in addition to traditional media coverage, SAMSA’s news information online platforms, inclusive of social media, will share news and information flowing from the events on a regular basis throughout the day. In addition, this blog will provide a comprehensive multi media report, inclusive of interviews with some of the participants, from late afternoon on Monday through to Tuesday.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) would like to inform all seafarers and stakeholders that we are currently experiencing challenges with the issuing of Certificates for all Seafarers. This is affecting the turnaround time for seafarers to receive their certificates timeously.
There’s a contingency plan in place for seafarers who need to join their ships before our systems are up and running again. We are confident we will resolve the issues before 30 June 2018 and commence issuing the certificates immediately. We will post further notices when all systems are up and running again.
Sincerer apology to all those seafarers, employers, agents, etc. who are affected by this.
With global recognition increasing about the dangers of plastics waste pollution particularly on the world’s oceans, closer collaboration among role-players remains crucial to success in combating the rapidly expanding menace.
At least that was the dominant message flowing from this year’s observation of World Oceans Day in Durban at the weekend – a two day event hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in collaboration with several institutions including the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).
SAMSA is charged statutorily with responsibility for the monitoring and prevention of pollution by ships at sea all around South Africa, an area spawning more than 1.5-million square kilometres and over which the country has interest in as an exclusive economic zone.
In Durban over two days, from Friday and Saturday, several institutions across the public, private, higher education, research as well as community sectors gathered under one roof at a hall located at the harbour for an exhibition as well as a public awareness campaign focused on sharing information about the menace of plastics pollution.
The first day was almost exclusively dedicated to high school pupils in the Durban area while the following day was open to members of the public and for whom, another major attraction was country dedicated marine research vessel, the SA Agulhas II.
In addition to maritime careers information for the school pupils, both groups were taken through various information sharing sessions on the importance of the country’s marine resources as well as the absolutely crucial need to spare the environment of pollution, and of which plastic waste was the most dominant currently across the world.
They were also taken on a tour of the country’s dedicated sea research vessel, the SA Agulhas II ahead of its departure to the Antarctic region with supplies for the research stations there, as well as further studies by a group of marine scientists on board.
According to Ms Keshnee Pillay, a marine scientist in biological oceanography at the Department of Environmental Affairs, greater collaboration among all stakeholders and roleplayers engaged with the plastics waste pollution campaign, is crucial to future success.
In the following video, explains why the focus of this year’s World Ocean Day celebration had to be on plastics pollution particularly as it affected the oceans and other marine environment.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority’s (SAMSA) Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town had to spring into fast action early on Wednesday after two crew members of a bulk carrier departing from South Africa for Brunei reportedly suffered serious injuries while sailing through choppy waters on the Indian Ocean.
Working in collaboration with a number of local institutions as well as a medical doctor in the Eastern Cape, the MRCC dispatched a South African Air Force aircraft from Port Elizabeth to pluck the injured crew members from the bulk carrier for medical attention in East London.
In a statement, the MRCC said the rescue scramble occurred early on Wednesday after the bulk carrier, KS Flora, sailing from the deep water port of Ngqurha in Port Elizabeth and while approximately 81 kilometers south west of East London, on its way to the Maura Port in Brunei, sent and emergency call for assistance with two injured crew members
“Today at 0934 SAST MRCC Cape Town received a call from RSC East London advising of two injured crew members on-board Bulk Carrier ‘KS FLORA’ approximately 81 kilometres from East London. The vessel had left Algoa Bay (Ngqura) bound for Muara Port in Brunei. The two crew got injured due to vessel experiencing bad weather. One crew suffered severe left knee injury and the other suffered severe fracture left foot.
“MRCC then requested our coastal radio station (PORT ELIZABETH Radio) to connect the vessel to the METRO doctor for him to make a medical judgment on the condition of the two crew.
“The Metro doctor advised that one of the crew should be evacuated as soon as possible and he suggested air evacuation due to the urgency in the casualty requiring treatment. The vessel was diverting to East London as it was the closest port from their position.” said the MRCC.
A South African Air Force aircraft dispatched from Port Elizabeth rendezvoused with the vessel during the day approximately 36 kilometres from shore, for evacuation of the injured crew members and who have since been admitted to a hospital in East London.
The MRCC confirmed that the bulk carrier had since returned onto its journey to Brunei.
To learn more about the role of the SAMSA MRCC, please click here: