Monday, November 12, 2012

SAS Africana Still in Port

Despite protestations during the November 6 briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Fisheries by Rear Admiral Teuteberg that the damage caused by the apparent minor error of getting sea water into the fuel tanks(!!) would be repaired by Thursday last week (and then by Saturday), it now emerges that the vessel will not be repaired and ready to sail for at least 2 weeks which will almost certainly result in the abandonment of the critical small pelagic year-end cruise.

Rear Adm Teuteberg addressing the Portfolio Committee on 6 November 2012

The failure to conduct this research cruise will certainly result in a substantial TAC reduction which will result in job losses in the pilchard and anchovy sectors. 

Feike also understands that under the command of the Navy, the SAS Africana has become rat and cockroach infested. Showers on board the vessel no longer work. Naval and DAFF officials barely have a working relationship in place. The Navy requires a number of additional crew on board resulting in the Africana carrying more than 60 people. She normally carries about 50 crew and specialists researchers on a research cruise. The additional crew means that a number of researchers and scientists now sleep on the floor. Coupled with the filthy state of the vessel and the lack of a working relationship with the Navy, we understand that a number of researchers are refusing to continue on board the vessel.

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