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Durban port remained closed after storm wreaks havoc on shipping

MARINE operations at the Port of Durban remained closed until soundings conducted by drones to assess unsafe build-up or obstructions on the seabed were completed, said harbour authorities.

This comes after severe storms in Durban wreaked havoc at the port unberthing ships and blowing containers into the water.

Transnet Port Authority (TNPA) said vessel movements in the Port of Durban remain suspended on Wednesday while several ships had to be reberthed and mopping up operations continued.

This included the stricken MSC Ines container vessel which was grounded across the port's entrance channel. Five tugs successfully towed the 9?15-TEU vessel to safety.

TNPA's dredger?Subtech ?a private marine service company ?and drones are conducting sounding surveys to highlight any unsafe build-up or obstruction on the seabed that could pose a risk to navigation. Engineering teams aided by aerial drones were conducting physical assessments of affected port buildings and infrastructure to assist in quantifying damage.

Said Durban port manager Moshe Motlohi: "This successful operation was made possible through our Joint Operations Committee with SAMSA and our 24-hour Business Continuity Plan (BCP) at head office and the ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

Mr Motlohi said the Business Continuity Plan will remain in place until TNPA has restored normality at the Port of Durban.

"At this stage?Durban marine operations are anticipated to resume by midday on Thursday pending the outcome of the sounding surveys."
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