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Transnet confirms arrival of three passenger vessels in Port of PE

May 25, 2020
Transnet confirms arrival of three passenger vessels in Port of PE

Port Elizabeth - Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) confirms the arrival of three passenger vessels in the Port of Port Elizabeth on Monday. The purpose of their visit is to refuel and restock under strict COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream and Carnival Liberty have all arrived in the Bay on Monday, 25 May. One of the vessels is carrying 1 601 crew members, four of whom are South African. The vessels are part of nine cruise liners expected to arrive in different South African ports from abroad. Already, two passenger vessels arrived at the Port of Cape Town last weekend.

The Crown Princess and the Island Princess both arrived on a scheduled stop. The Crown Princess arrived in South Africa with 2 139 crew members, of whom 30 are South African.

A fresh medical team was also allowed to embark the Crown Princess, while it was in Cape Town as per maritime requirements. The Island Princess disembarked 62 South African crew members.

SAMSA said all the disembarked crew were subjected to the local COVID-19 regulations and will quarantine for 14 days before they can join their families.

COVID-19: Safety at sea central to recent passenger liner calls to SA

South African ports have been considering requests on a case by case basis from passenger liners urgently seeking permission to dock in order to refuel, restock provisions or to repatriate South African crew.  None of the cruise liners currently calling have any passengers on board.

Acting Chief Harbour Master at Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), Captain Sabelo Mdlalose, said: “The banning of passenger liner operations at a number of ports globally, including South Africa, due to the COVID-19 outbreak has left the cruise industry in limbo.

"These vessels would have disembarked passengers several weeks ago elsewhere and their crews have had to remain on board for an extended period as the ships make their way across the globe.

“As the port landlord, TNPA works closely with the Department of Transport and the South African Maritime Safety Authority to ensure the safety and security of shipping, as is required by any signatory of the International Maritime Organization.

"This means we have a duty to assist ships requiring essential services like bunkering and replenishment of supplies, as this becomes an issue of safety of life at sea. However, we ensure that all safety precautions are taken and that a risk assessment is conducted for each vessel by the Joint Operations Centre at each port.”

South Africa’s 2019-20 cruise season typically ends in late April to early May. Ministerial Regulations signed into effect by Minister of Transport, Honourable Fikile Mbalula, on 18 March 2020 prohibited further cruise liner calls unless for disembarkation of a returning South African citizen and/or a permanent resident, or embarkation of a departing foreign national.

“We assure South African citizens that these vessels are being managed in accordance with the Regulations and all COVID-19 protocols, including ensuring that the vessels have been at sea for a 14-day quarantine period before docking in South Africa, and also ensuring that any disembarking individuals go into quarantine when they come ashore,” said Captain Mdlalose. 

Image: file image

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