Veteran SA mariner and global shipping and fishing vessels’ safety guru, Captain Nigel Campbell retires: SAMSA

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GOING ON RETIREMENT:  Captain Nigel Campbell (centre with box) being big farewell by senior SAMSA management (From Left) Company Secretary Mr Lolo Raphadu, Corporate Affairs acting head Ms Nthabiseng Tema and Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi

Port Elizabeth: 14 September 2018

Veteran South African Master Mariner and an accomplished global shipping and fishing vessels and labour safety guru, Captain Nigel Campbell of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) formally went into retirement on Friday, the organization announced in Port Elizabeth.

Capt Campbell who turned 65 years old in September 2018, retired on Friday after 47 years in the country’s maritime sector, primarily as a mariner, then a ship’s surveyor before becoming an administrator for 16 of his 19 years of service at SAMSA – the latter which he joined in 1999, just as year after the agency was established.

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Captain Nigel Campbell (65), Deputy Chief Operations Officer at SAMSA, retires.

At the time of his retirement, he had risen to the position of Deputy Chief Operations Officer but with yet full responsibility for general management of shipping anf fishing vessels matters as pertaining to SAMSA’s sphere of regulation.

Shipping regulation particularly from a safety perspective was an area of his specialization to the extent that he become SAMSA and the country’s constant representative at international meetings involving the London based International Maritime Organization (IMO) as well as at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

According to SAMSA, it was both Capt Campbell’s passion for especially fishing vessels safety and fishermen’s welfare globally that he not only pioneered by also led both the IMO and ILO in development of regulation management of these aspects through instruments including the IMO’s Cape Town Agreement and ILO’s Convention 188, the latter which was officially implemented first in South Africa at the end of 2017.

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Captain Nigel Campbell with his with wife of 37 years, Mrs Mandi Campbell during Wednesday’s formal send-off function held in Port Elizabeth.

Speaking at a send-off function held at the Little Walmer Golf Club in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon, SAMSA Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi described Capt Campbell as a doyen of the country’s maritime sector vessels’ safety regulation whose dedication and strength of character saw him achieve far more than could be reasonably expected, both locally and internationally.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi, SAMSA COO, making farewell notes on Capt Nigel Campbell’s ‘Happy Retirement’ card during Wednesday’s sendoff function held at the Little Walmer Golf Club in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon

He described him as not only one of the most ‘incorruptable individuals’ in his area of operations but also an industry acknowledged strict disciplinarian who would be satisfied only with high degrees of efficiency.

Mr Tilayi also confirmed that while Capt Campbell officially retires, he will remain in touch with SAMSA and industry on a consultancy basis from November 2018.

For his part, Capt Campbell said: “It was an illustrious career which I enjoyed very much.” He thanked SAMSA for opportunities it had given him and wished the agency well into the future as it celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018.

For Mr Sobantu’s full remarks in his reflection on Capt Campbell’s service record and character (4-minutes), as well as Captain Campbell’s and three other’s farewell remarks (3-minutes) click on the video below.

The ILO also weighed on in on Capt Campbell’s official retirement, describing him as a major contributor to oceans transport labour safety regulation.

In a video message shared at Capt Campbell’s send off function, Mr Brandt Wagner, ILO’s head of maritime transport policy sectoral unit, said: “Capt Campbell has a long history of working with the ILO on maritime issues. Some of the highlights of his work is that Nigel served as the chairperson of the Committee of the Fishing Sector at the 96th Session of the international labour conference in 2007 which adopted the Work In Fishing Convention 188.

“It was, to a great extent, due to his leadership that key problems were sorted out, and that the conference was not only able to adopt the Convention, but do so with overwhelming positive votes.

“Nigel chaired the tripartite experts meeting to adopt the guidelines on Flag State Inspections under the maritime labour convention in Geneva in 2008. He also chaired the ILO meetings that adopted Flag and Port State Guidelines based on Convention 188, and also the Global Dialogue Forum on the promotion of that convention..

“But besides chairing everything in sight, largely because he got things done, he helped the ILO with many other events around the world,” he said.

For Mr Wagner’s full remarks (three minutes) click on the video below.

More photos of guests and Capt Campbell’s colleagues at the send-off function.

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Cargo on arrested Russian vessel in South Africa above board: SAMSA

Pretoria: 23 August 2018

An initial inspection of a Russian vessel that was arrested near Port Elizabeth this week on suspicion that it was carrying weapons of war illegally has established that all the cargo was authorised and its stowage was in accordance with law.

This is according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which was among South African government agencies to inspect the vessel following the allegations.

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Captain Nigel Campbell. Deputy COO. SAMSA

SAMSA deputy Chief Operations Officer Captain Nigel Campbell said in Port Elizabeth that on inspection of the vessel, it was established that the cargo’s paperwork was in order as well as that its stowage was legal.

Captain Campbell said: “The vessel has the correct Document of Compliance to carry dangerous goods in terms of the IMDG Code (International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code) and the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Regulations.

“The cargo landed at the Port of Ngqura had all of the required documentation in terms of the Code and the balance of the cargo onboard has the correct documentation and is stowed as required by the Code. It appears that there are no contraventions relating to maritime issues.

“We will continue with Port Control Inspection to ensure that all else about the vessel is in order. Otherwise, in terms of its cargo and stowage, all is above board,” said Captain Campbell.

News of the arrest of the vessel broke earlier this week after, according to local media in Port Elizabeth, authorities were tipped off about a cargo stowed deep on the vessel and thought to be of illicit goods believed to be weapons of war.

On Friday, Captain Campbell said among the cargo inspected were mining explosives and other material destined for the United States, Nigeria and one or another country.

The vessel will undergo further inspections, he said.

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So they missed Christmas at home, but travel almost reached the ends of earth!

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Port Elizabeth: 19 February 2018

For many of the 20 South African newest cadets that docked in Port Elizabeth on Friday for the first time on home soil since November 2017, missing Christmas with family at home was a completely new experience.

But apparently it did not matter, not really; as after all, they were out charting the course of their future maritime careers over the Indian and Southern Oceans, and while about it, almost reached the ends of the earth.

DSC_3631.JPGThe group was South Africa’s newest deck and engine cadets from the Cape Peninsula and Durban universities of technology, and were the second most recent group of cadets undergoing their first practical training to sail as far as the Antarctica region over an 80 days period in 2017/8.

Trained under the tutelage of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) based in Port Elizabeth – an entity now responsible for the country’s National Cadet Programme – in collaboration with the South Africa Maritime Training Academy (actual training providers on board the SA Agulhas) as well as the South African Maritime Safety Authority (owners of the vessel), the group left South Africa from Cape Town on Friday, 27 November 2017.

The route took them to Mauritius over four days where they picked up a group of about 40 Indian scientists involved in research projects of the oceans closest the sub-continent.

From Mauritius they headed south towards the Antarctica and for just over two months they spent the time on board the vessel, learning the basics of ship sailing – their training split between deck and engine duties.

On return and arrival in Port Elizabeth on Friday morning, they could not wait to share their wealth of experience. Click Here.

Among those on hand to welcome the cadets back were SAMSA senior officials; deputy Chief Operations Officer, Captain Nigel Campbell and SAMSA Maritime Specialist Maritime Projects Operations Manager, Mr Roland Shortt.

Briefly, the officials were most impressed by the group of cadets both in terms of its focus on training as well as general conduct.

For their remarks to the cadets, Click on the video.

 

 

 

 

Seventh IMO seminar in SA on fishermen safety globally, hopeful of Africa support.

DSC_1747 (2)Cape Town: 17 October 2017

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the host of this week’s seminar on the ‘Cape Town Agreement’ for the safety and security of fishermen across the globe is confident it will have secured enough support from more African countries by weekend for implementation of the now five year agreement.

Also counting on a more favorable support from fellow African countries is South Africa, the first among seven countries worldwide to formally ratify the ‘Cape Town Agreement’ – named as such as it was founded in the Western Cape city of South Africa by as many as 58 countries in 2012.

DSC_1750.JPGThis week’s seminar that began on Monday and lasting five days until Friday (20 October) at the historic Castle of Good Hope, a stone’s throw from Cape Town’s central business district, is the seventh in a series being held by the IMO worldwide since founding of the ‘Cape Town Agreement’ five years ago.

DSC_1771.JPGIt is the third in Africa – the first having been for French-speaking or Francophone countries, followed by one held for Asian countries.

This week’s gathering, involving about 50 delegates from several African countries in central and southern Africa as well as Europe, is intended for English-speaking or Anglophone countries, said seminar leader, IMO’s head of Marine Technology and GBS Maritime Safety Division, Ms Sandra Rita Allnut in a brief interview on Monday.

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Captain Nigel Campbell

South Africa, the first of the few countries to formally ratify the ‘Cape Town Agreement’ that essentially seeks to enforce measures in IMO member States that will ensure the safety and security of fishermen, inclusive of the vessels they use for trade, has welcomed the IMO’s choice of the country as the venue for the Anglophone countries’ week-long seminar, expressing hope it will provide the platform for greater member awareness and support for the agreement.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) deputy Chief Operations Officer, Captain Nigel Campbell said the IMO member States’ greater awareness campaign was crucial to African countries ratifying the agreement for implementation soon.

Captain Campell said he believed this week’s session with potential supporters from African countries, would bring closer to an end the strife for greater security of African and global fishing operations personnel safety.

For Captain Campbell’s full remarks, click on the video  below.

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Mr Elcidio Agostinho

Meanwhile, among maritime countries in southern Africa seemingly likely to ratify the IMO ‘Cape Town Agreement’ is neighboring Mozambique.

Representative, Mr Elcidio Agostunho, an international relations technician for Mozambique’s National Maritime Authority under the Department of Transport and Communications, said the IMO’s ‘Cape Town Agreement’ was a well-intended instrument likely useful for fishermen everywhere.

He described it as unfortunate that many IMO member States had not ratified it yet in order to ensure implementation, but was hopeful that Mozambique would follow the example of South Africa in giving the agreement the support it deserves.

For his full remarks, click on the video below.

For more videos on the seminar, go to the Audio and Video page.

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Blaze on board Liberian flagged vessel in Port Elizabeth contained: Monitoring continues

Pretoria: 14 February 2017

The APL Austria cargo vessel (Photo: Courtesy of
The APL Austria cargo vessel (Photo: Courtesy of

A fire that broke out on a giant Liberian flagged container vessel, the APL Austria while sailing west off the eastern ocean of South Africa on Sunday has been contained, but its situation is still being closely monitored, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reported on Tuesday.

The 71 867 tons, 280 meter-wide container carrier on which fire broke out in one of its cargo holds on Sunday afternoon while sailing 30 nautical miles south-west of Cape St Francis – some 50-70 kilometers west of the city of Port Elizabeth – had to be diverted back to the port of Ngqurha on Sunday night in order for rescue operations including firefighting to be conducted.

With the crew evacuated – an operation overseen by the SAMSA Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) based in Cape Town, throughout Sunday night, Monday and early Tuesday, firefighters both on board and outside the vessel, inclusive of tugs from the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) battled the fire, while efforts were made to remove some of the cargo on board to safety.

A graphic map showing the exact location where the APL Austria was when it was diverted back to Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon after fire was reported to be blazing in one of its cargo holds.
A graphic map showing the exact location where the APL Austria was when it was diverted back to Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon after fire was reported to be blazing in one of its cargo holds.

On Tuesday afternoon, SAMSA Centre for Shipping Executive Head, Captain Nigel Campbell reported that the battle against the blaze was being won progressively.

“It appears that the fire in the hold has been extinguished but the space has not been deemed safe to enter as yet. There are still smouldering containers on deck which are being fought by the fire brigade, a harbour tug is providing boundary cooling. Containers with hazardous cargo are being removed from the area around the fire,” said Captain Campbell.

He added that: “The Joint Operations Committee sits shortly to monitor progress against the plan.”

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SAMSA moves to ensure maritime environmental safety around stricken Greek vessel headed for Cape Town

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Greek owned bulk carrier, the Antaois, currently on tow off the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Town after suffering fire and water damage in its engine, leading to its crew having to be rescued earlier this week. Once near Cape Town, its bunker oil will transferred offshore to ensure ocean environmental safety and integrity, according to SAMSA

Pretoria: 08 December 2016

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has begun fully mobilizing appropriate and relevant safety measures to secure maritime environmental safety in the wake of a salvage operation this week involving a stricken Greek bulk carrier on the Atlantic Ocean west of Cape Town.

The disabled vessel, a Greece registered bulk carrier known as the Antaios, came to SAMSA’s attention after it reportedly suffered fire and water damage in its engine room while located some 870 nautical miles west of Cape Town late last week, en route from Argentina to the Middle East.

According to SAMSA, the vessels’ crew abandoned ship on Sunday and were rescued to safety by a passing Japanese ore carrier, the ‘NSU Fortune’; that dropped them off in Cape Town on Monday.

On Wednesday, SAMSA reported the Antaois – a 19 years old 27 776 DWT bulk carrier owned by Amalthia Marine Incorporated of Greece, and laden with a cargo of soya flour and corn being shipped from San Lorenzo, Argentina to Yemen – as currently under tow by the salvage tug ‘Smit Amandla’.

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SAMSA said the safety measures being rolled out involved retrieving safely and transferring offshore the estimated 170 metric tonnes of bunker fuel in the vessels’ belly. Among other issues, this would entail ensuring the vessel remained at no less than 30 miles off the coast of Cape Town.

SAMSA Executive Head for Centre for Shipping, Captain Nigel Campbell
SAMSA Executive Head of Centre for Shipping, Captain Nigel Campbell

SAMSA Executive Head for the Centre for Shipping, Captain Nigel Campbell said: “The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) requires the owner to prioritise the removal of the casualty’s bunkers to neutralise any environmental threat before giving permission for the vessel to proceed closer to the South African coast.

“Until such time as the fuel transfer operation has been completed, vessel surveys undertaken and a comprehensive salvage plan approved, SAMSA has ordered that casualty remain at least 30 miles off.

“The multi‐purpose tug ‘Peridot’ is currently being mobilised from Cape Town, together with specialist personnel and equipment and will rendezvous with the convoy of tug and tow and commence preparations for the transfer of bunker fuel and water, which includes the pumping of the flooded engine room and repair of damage sustained,” said Captain Campbell.

He said SAMSA was working closely with all interested parties including owners and their underwriters to “ensure that safety of life and environmental protection remain the key priorities of this operation.”

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Penguins rescuers in Port Elizabeth in line for possible compensation

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Pretoria: 01 September 2016

Organizations involved in the rescue of dozens of penguins caught up in an oil spill along the Indian Ocean coast near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape these last few weeks may be in line to recover some or all of the costs of the operation, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

According to SAMSA Centre for Shipping’s executive head Captain Nigel Campbell this week, a Panama registered Turkish owned vessel found to have been responsible for the disastrous oil spill near Port Elizabeth three weeks ago had been issued with an Admission of Contravention amounting to a total R502 000, in addition to a R1-million provided by the vessel’s insurers for purposes of reimbursing people and or organizations involved in the rescue and clean-up of the sea birds.

More than a hundred penguins inhabiting a small island known as Jahleel near the Ngqurha deep water port some 30 kilometers north east of Port Elizabeth (a.k.a Mandela Bay), were affected by the oil spillage and it took a number of rescue organizations to collect them for cleaning and rehabilitation.

logo1Captain Campbell, in a statement responding to concerns expressed by a senior official of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) through a local Port Elizabeth daily newspaper this week, said SAMSA had responded immediately to two oil spillages that occurred in the vicinity.

The first spillage involved an accidental discharge of oil from a vessel loading bunkers and which sparked a concern at WESSA.

However, Captain Campbell to sought allay fears that the recently established shipping vessels’ bunkering service at the port of Port Elizabeth might prove problematic, indicating that the accidental spillage during the bunkering had been quickly cleaned up and was therefore not believed to have affected negatively the environment, but specifically wildlife.

Captain Campbell said: “The spill from the refuelling operation was approximately 100 litres and was cleaned up immediately. Although we are still awaiting the outcome of the testing of samples taken SAMSA strongly believes that this was not the source of the oil on the penguins.

“Some two days after this spill a large oil slick was found in the bay and additional slicks were noted further down the coast as far as Jeffrey’s Bay. Our investigation identified a vessel on passage to Cape Town that had pumped oily waste into the sea over a stretch of approximately 120 nautical miles through a faulty oily water separator.

penguins pe 1“The Turkish owned, Panamanian registered bulk carrier was subsequently detained in Cape Town as being unseaworthy. It was issued with an Admission of Contravention of R127 000 for this as well as an additional R375 000 for illegal discharge of oily waste.

“Furthermore the owners, through their insurers were required to lodge an undertaking of R1million to reimburse those parties that reacted to the spill, this would include the cleaning of penguins. The ship was only released from detention when all monies had been deposited,” said Captain Campbell.

Captain Campbell further explained the management of these Admissions of Contravention in terms of relevant legislation. He said the fines were essentially an “Admission of Contravention” in terms of Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act No 2 of 1986.

“The monies received are deposited into the Maritime Fund which is managed by SAMSA but is controlled by the Minister of Transport.

“In terms of the SAMSA Act, an application to the Minister can be made only for the purpose of furthering the objectives of the Authority (SAMSA) and in this case, this would be ‘to prevent and combat pollution of the marine environment by ships’. The rehabilitation of wildlife would therefore be considered,” he said.

Meanwhile, WESSA chairman of the Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth) branch, Ms Martheanne Finnemore in her letter published in The Herald; praised both SAMSA as well as the several organizations that responded quickly and decisively in alleviating the plight of the wild sea birds affected by the oil slick.

She said: “Well done SAMSA for imposing a fine of R350 000 on the ship that caused the spillage during the oil transfer. This money should be channelled to those voluntary organizations such as SAMREC (South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre) and to SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) and its facility at Cape St Francis Bay to enable them to continue doing their amazing work in rescuing and rehabilitating these iconic birds.”
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Arrested Chinese fishing trawlers in South Africa released

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Pretoria: 24 June 2016

Three Chinese vessels that were arrested and detained in South Africa have been released, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed on Friday.

The release this week, just over month after the vessels were arrested off the coast of South Africa in the Indian Ocean and detained at the port of East London, occurred after they had fulfilled all requirements.

Captain Nigel Campbell, executive head of SAMSA’s Centre for Shipping and regional manager for SAMSA’s Southern region, said that the requirements included repairs to certain equipment on board the vessels that had been deemed to have posed a threat to the environment, as well as the lodging of deposits for Admission of Contraventions of pollution legislation

According to SAMSA, based on its own investigation; the vessels faced charges by the ocean safety watchdog relating to, among other things; an absence of oil record books, and non-maintenance of certain other equipment essential for the safe operation of the vessels.

On Friday SAMSA said all the issues were eventually sorted out to its satisfaction and the vessels, with its crew of about 96 people were given permission to sail away.

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SHIPWRECK FINALLY REMOVED SUCCESSFULLY OFF SOUTH AFRICAN COAST

Pretoria: 16 Sptember, 2015

Exemplary cooperation among various Government agencies including the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and ship wreck salvage company, Titan Salvage and its insurers, has been cited as a major contributor to the successful removal of a massive coal carrier off South Africa’s coast this month.

(For more on this story, click here)

SUCCESSFULLY RETRIEVED AND REMOVED: The wreck of coal cargo vessel, the MV Smart, owned by Alpha Marine shortly after its break up in the Indian Ocean off Richards Bay in August 2013
SUCCESSFULLY RETRIEVED AND REMOVED: The wreck of coal cargo vessel, the MV Smart, owned by Alpha Marine shortly after its break up in the Indian Ocean off Richards Bay in August 2013