DISCOVER Magazine #7

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) project

Published in category: Fishing & Aquaculture

In 2013, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) was awarded the DAFF Fisheries Research Vessels & Fisheries Inspection Surveillance Vessels fleet contract to bring vessels suspended from Class (or about to be) back into Class and operational readiness. The fleet includes the Offshore Patrol Vessel Sarah Baartman, the Research Vessels Africana and Ellen Khuzwayo and the Patrol Vessels Lilian Ngoyi, Ruth First and Victoria Mxenge. Almost all of these vessels were originally built by DSCT’s predecessor Farocean Marine.

Once DSCT’s work started, the Victoria Mxenge and the Ruth First were the first two vessels to depart Naval Base Simon’s Town once they had been brought back into Class; this was achieved in two months.

The Ellen Khuzwayo was the third vessel to depart Simon’s Town, in January 2014. DSCT re-commissioned the equipment and completed all outstanding repairs in six months.

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One month later, the Sarah Baartman sailed from Simon’s Town after undergoing her Class dockings and surveys. On completion, SAMSA carried out the safety surveys before she departed to go on active duty.


The Africana is a 32 year old vessel, but still going strong. On some points her condition is even outstanding, according to Class. This Research Vessel will be brought back into service in the coming months.


The Patrol Vessel Lilian Ngoyi had her two main propulsion engines removed and overhauled. This was successfully completed and the engines are now refitted and aligned. The next major step is pulling both propeller shafts and the fin stabilizer shafts to replace seals. The vessel is currently dry-docked. Underwater hull cleaning and painting will also be completed prior to putting her back into the water.


According to DSCT Services Manager Chris Somerset, he and his team are very proud of this project. So far, getting all the DAFF vessels back into service is the largest repair & maintenance job of Damen Shipyards Cape Town.

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