On Wednesday 9  March 2022, the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust announced that the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship ‘Endurance, lost in 1915, has been located successfully in the Weddell Sea.

A multinational team of experts aboard the South African Antarctic Supply Vessel ‘SA Agulhas II’ departed Cape Town on 5th February on the Endurance22 Expedition. Onboard the vessel, 43 local seafarers under Captain Knowledge Bengu would provide critical support to the expedition team.

Donald Lamont, Chairperson of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, in a letter to Captain Bengu highlighted the essential role played by the South African ship:

“As we began planning this expedition, we looked no further than South Africa for the ship we needed and for the Master, Ice Pilot and crew who could get us to where we are today. You have ensured that our expedition team had the right platform in the right place and at the right time. This is your success and that of those who serve under you.”

This sentiment was echoed by Expedition Leader Dr John Shears who noted that the Officers and Crew of the ‘SA Agulhas II’ had been “simply outstanding”; going on to thank all partners especially in South Africa who played a vital role in the success of the expedition.

The ’SA Agulhas II’ is owned by the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and the vessel is managed on their behalf by local marine services company AMSOL.

As the leading employer of South Africa seafarers, AMSOL ensured that client requirements were met over months of pre-voyage planning that included the implementation of stringent COVID19 prevention protocols, a seafarer vaccination programme, as well as local procurement to supply the vessel and specific Endurance22 Expedition requirements. The company was also able to provide training berths for five South African Cadets during the voyage; exposing these young women and men beginning their career at sea to a once in a lifetime experience.

AMSOL’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Maclons:

“Since 2019, we have been proud to be part of the team involved in the quest to locate the wreck; a unique project that drew on expertise from across our company. On the occasion of this historic milestone I would like to congratulate the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and the Endurance22 Expedition team. I extend my thanks to Captain Knowledge Bengu, Officers, Crew and AMSOL support personnel for their professionalism and commitment to the objectives of this voyage.”

Please find the press release issued  by Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust on the link below. Photographs from the expedition and a short video of the wreck of ‘Endurance’ are  available for download at https://collect.wetransfer.com/board/sowc348bfrvti58ge20220307165300

Endurance is found

SOMMSA would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Captain Nick Sloane on his appointment as the new President of the International Salvage Union. This was confirmed by the ISU membership this week during their annual general meeting. Nick is South Africa’s second sitting President of the ISU – a position once occupied by Captain Okke Grapow.

Nick has been involved in the salvage industry from as far back as 1983 when he was appointed as Third Mate aboard the salvage tug John Ross which he later commanded. One of the first salvage jobs to which he was exposed aboard the tug was the Castillo de Bellver tanker disaster off the West Coast. This was to be the start of a memorable career. He has lead salvage teams locally and around the world with the distinction of completing successfully some of the most complex operations ever undertaken. Most famously, he is remembered for leading a multinational team of 500+ people to parbuckle and refloat the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia off the island of Giglio in Italy. His leadership on this project, and all others for that matter, is based on the Ubuntu philosophy that ensures that human dignity is always at the core of your actions – “I am because you are.” His emails are always signed off with a quote by former President Nelson Mandela “Everything appears to be impossible, and then it is done,” … a fitting reminder to his teams that have often felt that the odds are stacked against them.

Commenting on his election, Captain Sloane said “I am honoured to represent Resolve on the ISU Executive Committee and it is a privilege for me to take over the leadership position as President of the ISU. I want to see through our commitment to cooperate with insurers recognising that we servethe same clients, the shipowners. I want to vigorously promote our industry and its benefits. In particular, I will emphasise that protection of the environment is such an important aspect of our members’ operations and so crucial in the world today whichhas rightly put the environment at the top of the international political agenda.”

Captain Sloane’s selection is not only an accolade for him and his family, but it once again highlights and promotes South Africa’s presence in maritime industry. We hope that his appointment will inspire a future generation of mariners to enter the interesting world of salvage.

SOMMSA members congratulate Captain Sloane once again and wish him all the best for his term of office.

2018: ISU AGM in Cape Town: Captain Nick Sloane receiving the SOMMSA Gold Medal from Rob Whitehead in recognition of his leadership in the successful Costa Concordia wreck removal operation.

Eyesea Introduction

The above link provides an introduction to an App which has been developed as a non-profit project with a goal of mapping maritime pollution and hazards using crowdsourced data and images. The aim is for ship crews, shore staff, recreational sailors, and the public to take geolocated, time stamped photos and pictures of maritime pollution and hazards, (plastic, containers, oil spills, nets etc).

We hope the above introduction on Eyesea will be of interest and possibly encourage you to get involved!