Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tuzi Gazi Storm Damage

Hi everyone,
We've been here at Tuzi Gazi marina in Richards Bay for nearly two days now.  We haven't had much rest since the southerly buster arrived in the early hours of yesterday morning.  It brought sustained winds of 40 knots with frequent much stronger gusts.  Apparently the port control tower registered a gust of 71 knots.  The 40 knot winds lasted for 18 hours or so.

Zen Again riding out the buster
The marina is constructed "African style" without posts driven into the sea bed.  Instead it is anchored/moored.  The walkway segments are bolted together with some slack to allow movement during storms/surges.

Unfortunately the marina wasn't up to the combination of this (apparently very bad) buster and a full complement of yachts.  Both jetties have sustained damage, apparently due to failure of several mooring chains.  The wind was onshore and one jetty dragged several metres shorewards.  The walkways concertina'd at the shore-end.  The finger jetties attached to those segments rotated.

View of the jetty overall
Slightly closer up - note the distant finger jetties
The above photos were taken late morning yesterday.  By the afternoon the concertina'd walkway sections were vertical and the finger jetties capsized and forced under or out of the water.  Damage to the boats in the concertina'd area has occurred.  Severity of the damage is unclear.

To get on and off the jetty one now has to clamber over two boats, both of which are sustaining damage from the marina disintegrating around them.  Their crews seem to be maintaining their good spirits.

In my opinion the response of the marina management to the storm leaves a lot to be desired.  We saw no marina staff when we arrived so simply picked an empty berth.  When I visited the marina office I noticed a whiteboard plan of the marina but no yacht names were annotated.  If they had actively managed where the bigger boats were berthed damage might have been reduced, and at least they'd know who is where for safety purposes.

Apparently similar but less dramatic damage happened last year.  When I visited the marina office the owner/manager showed me survey reports and reports of work they had done to improve the anchor system earlier this year.  Prior to the buster several local boat owners warned of the danger of the jetty anchors dragging.  A number of boats - both locals and visitors - set their own anchors prior to the buster.

Zen Again - very lucky to be in an outer pen
Despite all the above Tuzi Gazi and Richards Bay seem very nice places generally.  There are good, cheap restaurants and bars adjacent to the marina.  A huge mall is a cheap taxi ride away and there is a large light industrial area in town with a wide array of small businesses.  We managed to find bearings and circlips to service our autopilot rams which we'd been seeking since Rodrigues.

Happily the wind is gradually abating this morning.  Here's hoping the damage suffered by yachts has not been major.

1 comment:

  1. good to find your blog again. last time we saw you was in Rebak so good to see you are out again. We were in SA last year for the season and now are in Trinidad. Regards Kilkea II