Linsen Nambi Bunker Services invited learners from Lamontville High School to attend a maritime themed educational excursion of the bunker tanker ship, the Fumana, during a dry dock survey at the DORMAC Ship Repair Yard.

The Fumana is a 4,250 deadweight ton harbour bunker tanker which was built in South Africa, Durban in 2008. The ship’s classification society, which is charged with approving the technical standards of the vessel is DNV.

DNV ensure that the vessel still meets the safety standards set out by The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which is an international maritime treaty, which sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment and operation of commercial ships. As per SOLAS requirements, all commercially trading vessels require a complete survey of the hull in a dry dock twice within 5 year period and an intermediate survey within not more than 36 months. This includes maintenance of hull, propeller, rudder etc. and other parts which are immersed in water and are normally inaccessible by staff when the ship is sailing.

The drydock of the Fumana by Linsen Nambi Bunker Services with DORMAC Ship Repair Yard is an example of how ship owners form the back bone of the maritime industry, as they utilise the services of ship repairers, welders, carpenters, marine surveyors, naval engineers and marine technicians. Thus enabling a $ML injection into the Kwa-Zulu Natal economy, growing small businesses and creating jobs.

The Captain of the Fumana, as well as the first mates and engineers discussed aspects of their career development from learners to able seamen, then to officers with the Lamontville High Learners.

The learners were exhilarated to spend a day at the harbour, with many of them having never been to the port of Durban, thus the South African maritime industry still has a way to go, to open up to the broader communities.

Globally there is a demand for officers and an oversupply of ratings, this is especially true in South Africa, where we find many young people, who have written their maritime exams, to qualify as cadets but are unable to find ships to serve on in order to do their sea time, which is a requirement to become an officer.

Thus it is imperative for the South African Government to support local ship owners in order to grow the fleet of South African ships, which can employ many more young maritime aspirants and the greater maritime industry as a whole.