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SA Agulhas II returns from Antarctica

11 February 2014


The Department of Environmental Affairs’ SA Agulhas II will return from her second relief voyage to Antarctica (the “White Continent”) on Thursday 13 February 2014. The voyage was under the watch of the first black Master of the SA Agulhas II, Knowledge Bengu.

The vessel left for the Antarctica in November 2013 with a number of multidisciplinary cadres of scientists and researchers including those from International counterparts who will remain in the Antarctic environment at the SANAE IV base for a period of 14 months. Scientists from South African Research and Higher learning institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch collaborated 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 have also gathered statistics and tested Antarctic ice to advance knowledge about the composition of the Antarctic sea ice. The 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.

Members of the media are invited to cover the welcome ceremony and will have an opportunity to interview Captain Bengu on his experience as the vessel Master.

Details of the welcome ceremony are as follows:

Date: Thursday 13 February 2014

Time: 09:00

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

To RSVP, contact:

Tshego Letshwiti
Tel: 021 405 9439
Cell: 076 307 9634

For media enquiries, contact:

Zolile Nqayi
Cell: 082 898 6483