SA Agulhas II heads to Antarctica

26 November 2013

 

The Department of Environmental Affairs’ SA Agulhas II will be embarking on her second relief voyage to Antarctica (the “White Continent”) on Thursday 28 November 2013. The voyage will be under the watch of the first black Master of the SA Agulhas II, Knowledge Bengu, whose main responsibility will include pollution control and ensuring safety of the ship and the people on board.

A number of multidisciplinary cadres of scientists and researchers including those from International counterparts will endure 14 months in the Antarctic environment at the SANAE IV base. Scientists from South African Research and Higher learning institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch will collaborate with Finland on a joint project to test noise vibration, slamming with its effect on the vessel in order to enhance protection measures of the vessel.

In addition, they also will gather statistics and test Antarctic ice to advance knowledge about the composition of the Antarctic sea ice. These research activities will assist with further discovery of buried secrets which will benefit South Africa and the world at large, especially in the area of climate change and prediction of sea level rise.

The vessel is expected to dock back in Cape Town on 13 February 2014.

Members of the media are invited to cover the send-off event and interview Captain Bengu on his first voyage as the vessel Master. Details of the send-off event are as follows:

Date: Thursday 28 November 2013

Time: 13:00 (the vessel departs at 14:00)

Venue: East Pier Quay, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

To RSVP, contact:

Sivuyile Ngaba
Cell: 083 958 4663
E-mail:  sngaba@environment.gov.za

Ernest Mulibana
Cell: 082 263 7372
E-mail: emulibana@environment.gov.za

For media enquiries, contact:
Tracey Fared
Cell: 082 888 9125