Port of Durban expected to reopen at midday on Thursday

The Port of Durban is expected to re-open at midday on Thursday after surveys to assess damage from Tuesday's storms that left three vessels grounded and sank a floating dock.

Vessel movements in the South African port remained suspended on Wednesday and the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said operations were anticipated to restart at midday on Thursday subject to sounding the outcome of sounding surveys.

TNPA’s Dredging Services division and private marine survey company Subtech were conducting surveys of the port on Wednesday using drones for sounding surveys highlight any risks to navigation on the seabed. Drones were also being used to assess damage to port buildings and infrastructure.

On Tuesday the port successfully refloated three grounded vessels – the 9,115 teu MSC Ines, which blocked the port's access channel, the tanker Bow Triumph, and a the containership SM New York.

Salvage teams also refloated a floating dock at South African Shipyards along with a new TNPA tug under construction at the yard.

“We commend the marine workers involved who displayed skill and agility in managing the situation. A special thank you to all those involved including SAMSA (South African Marine Safety Authority), the private sector and our own TNPA tug masters and marine,” said Durban port manager Moshe Motlohi.

Richards Bay port was also closed for operations on Tuesday evening due to strong winds but reopened on Wednesday.

Posted 12 October 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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