Over the past 60 years, South Africa has sent down an overwintering team to South Africa’s station in Antarctica. This event start early on for applications to be posted for the team and then a huge amount of work go into planning for the next overwinter and takeover period. After months of planning and preparation by different government departments and institutions, the day of departure arrives.
Early on, all the team members arrive. The crew of the S. A. Agulhas II get our South African vessel ready for departure. Takeover personnel, research teams, The Department of Public Works and other institutions arrive to make sure everything is loaded to carry out their tasks during the takeover period.
Family members, colleagues and friends come to say goodbye to their loved ones, who will be gone for more than a year.
The overwinter team SANAE 59 is announced. A farewell speech for the team is given by Dr Judy Beaumont (Deputy-Director: Oceans and Coasts of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries).
SANAE 59 Overwintering Team:
Medical Doctor and Team Leader : Dr Abigail Paton
Electrical Engineer : Mr Lodrick Hlungwane
Mechanical Engineer : Mr Thulani Ngwaqa
Diesel Mechanic : Mr Michael Taunyane
Diesel Mechanic : Mr John Skeleti
Senior Meteorologist : Mr Zacharia Mogale
Engineer (SANSA) : Mr Pierre Retief
Engineer (SANSA) : Mr Vhulahani Manukha
The following personnel are on board the S.A. Agulhas II as part of the takeover team that are taking responsibility during take-over at the South Africa Station as well as on the journey down south:
Departmental Co-Ordinating Officer (DCO) Ms Kusi Ngxabani
Assistant DCO Mr Onke Nyanda
Administartor Officer Ms Zanele Ntobole
Technical Officer Mr Sibusiso Mhambi
Waste Technicians Mr Mazizi Salmani
Mr Tatulo Fiphaza
Chaplain Chaplain Samuel Britz
Master of the S.A. Agulhas II Captain Gavin Syndercombe
A last few good-byes and photos and a team photo conclude the activities.
The ship’s engines are running, the horn sounds and lastly the ladder is pulled up – off they go to be at sea for little more than a week until the ice shelf is reached.
We wish SANAE 59 a successful time at SANAE IV !
(more images available on Antarctic Legacy of South Africa archive)