Weekly Press Review – 27 March 2015

A group of local fishermen were lucky to escape with their lives this week after being accidentally fired upon by a warship involved in military exercises offshore of Cape Agulhas.  According to the press, the incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning during a joint naval exercise between the SA Navy and the German Navy.  It is believed that the fishing vessel was mistaken for one of the small radio-controlled vessels being used as a targets during the exercise.

Luckily no one was injured and both the SA and the German Navy have stated that they are aware of the incident and will be releasing a joint statement once the incident had been thoroughly investigated.

Also covered in the press this week was the visit by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to to the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone.  The minister was informed that workers would require a dramatic skills upgrade if they hoped to benefit from employment opportunities on the oil rigs at Saldanha Bay.

Peter Jordaan, Saldanha Bay councillor said, “There is a misalignment of the skills required and supply of skills.  Besides the normal qualification for welding, people working on oil rigs also need the American Bureau of Standards qualification and, because of this, many local guys would not qualify to work on an oil rig.”

The department is in the process of establishing a plan to assist with the required skills training.

 

Weekly Press Review – 30 January 2015

There were mixed headlines in the news this week relating to the maritime industry.

A warning from Saldanha Bay’s Port Manager, Willem Roux, that if the harbour does not make the most of opportunities available for oil services now, they will lose out to other harbours in the southern hemisphere made headlines.

These comments came on the back of a major new oil service project in Saldanha Bay launched earlier this month by TNPA and the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone.

The stricken cruise liner the Costa Concordia is back in the news this week.

Calls have been made for a strict sentence to be passed down to Francesco Schettino, the captain of the vessel which ran aground in early 2012 causing the deaths of 32 passengers. Italian lawyers for the prosecution have said that if found guilty Schettino should serve a minimum of 26 years for the part that he played in the accident.

The release of 17 young turtles back into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean has also made headlines. They were found washed up on various beaches in the Western Cape over the past 18 months and rescued by concerned members of the public.

The turtles were taken to the Two Oceans Aquarium for the first part of their rehabilitation, after which they were transported to Ushaka Sea World in Durban for further rehabilitation including antibiotics, stabilising their body temperature in warmer waters, wound care and assistance with flotation.

“How wonderful to see them all swimming away again. Some were in a really poor state when they came to us,” said Renee Leeuwner, Two Oceans Aquarium communications manager.