Small-scale fishers from Mamre, Laingville, Steenberg’s Cove and Paternoster recently took a great step in empowering themselves, so that they can apply themselves better in their everyday working lives.

“Through the Sea Safety Training Group, small scale fishers, youth and women attended the pre-sea and familiarisation training programme in St. Helena Bay,” said Hilda Adams, Coastal Links SA member from Mamre.

Adams said that Cathy Thomas from Laingville organised for the fishers and people from the five different communities to attend the training programmes.

“Cathy already organised for 25 youth to go on training programmes with Sea Safety Training Group, some of whom who already have jobs in fishing,” said Adams.

The training programme started at the beginning of June and ran until late June, and consisted of fishers, unemployed people and women.

Although CLSA members helped to put the trainees together and introduce them to Sea Safety Training Group, not all the trainees were CLSA members.

Not all the training happened at the same time, and not all the trainees did the same training programmes, with some attending more programmes than others.

According to Dione Walters from Sea Safety Training Programme, the training programmes they presented were, Pre-Sea/Familiarisation with Small Vessels (for boats under 9 metres), Short Range Radio Course (15 nautical mile radio ticket), Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting.

Walters said that Hilda Adams attended most of the 12 day course which started on June 4.

“The funding for the training was provided by the Transport and Education Training Authority (TETA), and was made available for employed and unemployed people,” said Walters.

“The small scale fishers were accommodated in the training under the unemployed group.”

Walters said that the main aim of the training programme is to help fishers to keep safe at sea, and that some of the youth can use the training they got as a means to get a job at one of the fishing companies.

“Most of them passed all the courses, except for the Short Range Radio Course (15 nautical mile radio ticket), which some trainees failed,” said Walters.

She, however indicated that the few who did not get to pass, are now able to do an exam for the 1 nautical mile, instead of the 15 nautical mile they initially did.

Sea Safety Training Group is a SAMSA accredited training company in the maritime industry based in St Helena Bay, with offices in Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth, and with satellite offices in Mossel Bay and Durban.

The company does mainly training for sea-going people, and take on private students, employees of private companies in the marine industry and the students of diving schools.

With their training, Walters say that people can apply for jobs at maritime companies.

Hilda Adams said that the training programme is a benefit for the fishers, since it helps them in aspects of their work as fishers.

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