Cape Town: 15 October 2018
At 3.15pm on Monday, the SA Agulhas sailed out of the port of Cape Town headed for the open oceans surrounding South Africa for a commercial errand, and on board her, a total of 48 cadets and ratings – the largest such number of seafarer trainees yet – on their way to two weeks of hands-on training in the country’s dedicated cadet training vessel.
The commercial errand according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), owners of the SA Agulhas, involves measurement of radio signal strengths along South Africa’s coast on behalf of telecommunications and cellular phone services entity, Telkom.
The two-week voyage along the west and east oceans of South Africa (the Atlantic and Indian oceans) is a partnership between SAMSA), Telkom and the Department of Transport.
The SA Agulhas, a South African ice-strengthened training ship and former polar research vessel since acquired by SAMSA for the country’s National Cadet Programme now run by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), will double duty to ensure that the 48 cadets and ratings on board acquire some of the experience at sea they need to complete their studies.
“Without time at sea the cadets cannot graduate and it is very hard for cadets to get berths on ships or boats, so this is an important maritime youth development and employment initiative for both SAMSA, its partners in the maritime sector and the country,” says Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer of SAMSA.
On board, they will be taken care of by four specialist deck and engine training officers comprising Cher Klein (senior training officer in charge), Ncebo Msimang and Thabang Kudumane and George Valerievich Fatnev (deck).
The four officers will seek to ensure that the youths while on board for the next five weeks (two in the open ocean), receive and absorb as much required practical training as is possible.
Ms Klein and Mr Fatnev explains their plans and anticipation in the video below.
According to SAMSA, the SA Agulhas is due to return from its 2 850 nautical mile coastal voyage on 30 October 2018.