Zululand Observer - Weekender
Landmark operation at Port of Richards Bay
WHEN a183m oil tanker experienced the failure of its main engine outside the limits of the Port of Richards Bay last week, a plan of action was implemented to carry out the port’s first towing operation of this nature.
The MV Marlin Azurite lost the use of its main engine south of the breakwater last Thursday and the port immediately implemented its Business Continuity Plan.
By 9am on Friday, the operation to tow the stricken vessel got under way as Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in collaboration with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), got to work.
The landmark towing operation was carried out by TNPA and SAMSA’s highly skilled teams, 60% of whom were women, including Harbour Master, Captain Gugu Dube.
No other vessel movements were permitted within the port during the operation and Marlin Azurite was safely berthed in port within the eight hour target.
‘We would like to commend the skilful teams from the Harbour Master, Marine Services and SHE Department involved in this operation,’ said Acting Port Manager, Christina Reddy.
‘This was the first towing operation of this nature at the Port of Richards Bay, and through teamwork of three tugs, it was a success,’ said Pilot John Haupt.
Normal port operations resumed at 6pm on Friday. Among those involved in the landmark towing operation were Captain Precious Gugu Dube (Harbour Master), Grace Reynolds (Marine Pilot), Sanele Dlamini (Tug Master), Christina Reddy (Acting Port Manager), Winnie Mpanza (Marine Technical Manager – Deck), Zandile Molefe (Tug Master) and Nompumelelo Mkhize (Deputy Harbour Master)