Update on M/V Agulhas II
- This is from Creamer Media's "Engineering News" in South Africa. The ship carries 100 passengers and looks like an interesting way to visit Tristan.
20 April 2012
SA AGULHAS II HANDED OVER TO SA GOVERNMENT South Africa's newest modern research and supply ship, SA Agulhas II, was officially handed over to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), following the successful completion of outfitting details and ice and sea trials. The R1.3-billion vessel, which was delivered within budget and on schedule, is replacing the 33-year-old SA Agulhas, which returned to South African shores in March, to be used for closer-to-shore projects.
During a commissioning ceremony at STX Shipyard, in Rauma, Finland, DEA director-general Nosipho Ngcaba says that, while it marks the "end of an era" for the first SA Agulhas, South Africa welcomes the continuation of its research mandate in the form of the SA Agulhas II.
Its maiden expedition voyage will be to Gough Island in September, followed by a trip to Antarctica in December. The multipurpose ship's capabilities in addition to carrying passengers and hosting a scientific research platform included a cargo and dry bulk carrier element to enable the transport of supplies to three remote stations; a fuel tanker to transport bulk fuel for the bases and vehicles, as well as aviation fuel for helicopters; and a helicopter landing section. The vessel holds eight permanent and six containerised laboratories and was suitable for oceanography, meteorology, climate change, biodiversity, marine geoscience and marine engineering research.
"[This ship is] a wise and worthy investment of our government that will create opportunities for our young scientists, but more importantly carry out research that will improve our country's ability to predict climate change impacts," says DEA deputy director-general of oceans and coasts Dr Monde Mayekiso.