Ian Calvert, the head of South African Maritime Safety Authority's maritime projects, met the 20 cadets before they embarked on a research expedition to Antarctica.
Durban - Twelve KwaZulu-Natal cadets are on board the research and training vessel SA Agulhas on a scientific expedition to Antarctica.

The Agulhas left on November 24 under the command of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) to participate in an international research expedition. On Monday morning the Agulhas reached Mauritius to fetch scientists from India.

Twenty South African cadets aged between 20 and 27, fresh from their Maritime Studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Durban University of Technology, will sail from Mauritius to Antarctica for a three-month research mission. The Agulhas is expected to reach Antarctica in less than three weeks. The cadets have been recruited for various on-board technical functions.

As part of its crew, the vessel has 19 deck cadets and one engine cadet, of which 12 are men and eight are women. The South African Maritime Training Academy has been appointed to manage the cadets who hope to pursue careers in the maritime industry.

Nompumelelo Ngubane, 24, of KwaMashu, hoped to gain practical experience during the expedition.

Siphesihle Imryn Mkize, who is 22 and used to live in Pietermaritzburg, was thrilled to have been selected, as was Mluleki Khwela, 23, of uMbumbulu, south of Durban.

Ayanda Mija, 20, of Empangeni wanted to educate young girls about the exciting career opportunities in the maritime sector. Zandile Ngwabe, 28, of uMlazi, is completing her Maritime Studies at DUT.

Lindokuhle Majola, 21, of KwaDukuza sees himself as being one of South Africa’s top marine pilots in the next 15 years. uLundi's Thembelihle Ntombela, 24, said she felt blessed to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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