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Drones used to ensure Durban's port is safe after storm unberths ships
11 October 2017, 09:19 | Elsie Buchanan
A screenshot of a container-laden ship that was blown into the Durban harbour mouth blocking it. Image Supplied
The Durban Port manager Moshe Motlohi told Reuters it was still too early to assess the extent or costs of damages to sub-Saharan Africa's largest port, which is a key transit point for commodities such as maize. TNPA has also managed to contain containers that had blown into the bay.
'Ukhozi is one of nine new tugs being built for TNPA, but the first of two that will serve at our port alongside some of our older marine vessels.
This comes after severe storms in Durban wreaked havoc at the port, unberthing ships and blowing containers into the water on Tuesday. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely via Port Control and the Harbour Masters' offices, and will keep stakeholders updated".
Three vessels that grounded in the Port of Durban have been refloated, including the containership MSC Ines that blocked the entrance to the port.
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which operates the Port of Durban, has confirmed that all vessel movements at the facility have been suspended. Transnet also states that their marine services team and tugboats are assisting with several emergencies.
Other vessels have broken mooring lines and are drifting in the channel.
Valued at R1.4-billion, the port's tug building programme is the largest single contract TNPA has ever awarded to a South African company for the building of harbour craft, and was awarded to Durban-based Southern African Shipyards, which also built TNPA's previous order of 12 tugs.
Several TNPA premises have been flooded including the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence in Bayhead Road.
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