SA Agulhas sets sail to the Antarctica
Dear Media Colleagues
The SA Agulhas sets sail to the Antarctica today. Yesterday, they carried out various drills, see pics enclosed of wearing ice suits, and emergency gear under two minutes.
Please see enclosed briefing note for media.
Briefing for Editors/Maritime Reporters/News Desk
SA Agulhas sets sail to the Antarctica
Cape Town, South Africa, November 24, 2017: Carrying its special cargo of 20 new cadet recruits, the SA Agulhas will set sail today to Mauritius and Antarctica today (Friday).
Bidding the cadets a safe send off was the South African Maritime Safety Authority’s Ian Calvert, head of Maritime Special Projects, under which the SA Agulhas, a dedicated training vessel, is located.
The cadets, some as young as 20 years old, this week started getting acquainted with the SA Agulhas, an ice-strengthened polar research vessel which was built in 1977 and was used to service three South African National Antarctic Programme research bases. She was retired from Antarctic service in April 2012 and was replaced by SA Agulhas II. She was transferred to SAMSA as a dedicated training vessel with trading capabilities and has once again been making regular trips to the Antarctic.
On this cold journey which will leave Cape Town this afternoon, it would host an Indian based research and scientific team, who are exploring oceanic and climate change experiments. The ship will go to Mauritius and then head off to the Antarctic for three months.
Calvert said the voyage was a microcosm of the possibilities for South Africa in maritime development. “We are able to use our existing capabilities and expertise to provide training for young cadets.
“The maritime sector addresses job creation and promotes the country’s maritime interests. Being part of a private public partnership reduces the government cost burden on training. It can also ensure that base skills are aligned to the meeting objectives of ocean economy outcomes.”
The SA Agulhas is expected to reach Antarctica in four weeks. The cadets, aged from 20-27, fresh from their academic studies from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Durban University of Technology.
As part of its crew the vessel will have 19 deck cadets and one engine cadet, of which 12 are males and eight are females. The South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) has been appointed to manage the cadets and training operations for the Antarctic voyage.
On board the vessel as well will be two deck training officers, Captain Merwyn Pieters and Steven Paulse, who are both immensely experienced in the operation of the vessel and also travelled on a previous expedition in 2016.
All of the Cadets have completed Medical Exams, Induction, Designated Security Duties (DSD) and Personal Survival Techniques (PST), required for the long cold yet exciting journey ahead.
Once the working vessel returns the cadets will be expected to complete the Marine Fire Fighting (FF), First Aid At Sea (FAAS) and the Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) courses in 2018.
Captions for images:
1. Cadets 9548: Young maritime cadets receive memorable send off for ground breaking Antarctic expedition.
2. Cadets 9507: Young cadets demonstrate how to wear emergency gear under two minutes.
3. Cadets 9525: Young cadets wearing their emergency gear and protective ice suits.
Issued by FBI Communications on behalf of SAMSA
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Notes for Editors
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), is a South African government agency responsible for the implementation of current International & National Regulations regarding the Maritime industry. It advises Government on maritime issues relating to or affecting South Africa, including but not limited to providing a search and rescue capability, and conduct accident investigations and provide emergency casualty response.