Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
At the start of June it was reported that the Hapag-Lloyd container ship Montpellier (IMO 9314973) had completed her 14-day period of quarantine and would be allowed to enter port at Durban. This was after several members of the crew were tested positive with the coronavirus. Before the ship entered port another crew member was tested positive, meaning a second 14-day period of quarantine for the ship and her cargo, which could not be discharged in Durban nor new cargo loaded.
The vessel is deployed on Hapag-Lloyd’s MIAX service between the Middle East, India, South Africa and West Africa.
It was second time lucky after the extra period of quarantine expired last week, (week ending 20 June) and with a clean bill of health the ship was able to enter port, at the time 28 days over her schedule. She entered port last week to have the ship fully cleaned and disinfected prior to cargo operations commencing on 18 June and to have all the Durban-bound and Cape Town-bound containers offloaded.
Cargo destined for Cape Town is planned to be loaded onto the next MIAX vessel
NYK Paula Voyage 2022W, which is scheduled to arrive at Durban on 29 June and will sail on 1 July with arrival in Cape Town for 3 July.
Meanwhile Montpellier was still in Durban on the afternoon of 21 June with Tema and Tincan (Lagos) given as her next ports.
This item first appeared in Africa Ports & Ships and appears here by kind permission of the Editor.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. This was reported on 22 July.
Updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: ‘Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.’
IMO Secretary General Lim commented: ‘I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships.
‘These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.’
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.
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.