Local students and sailors hop aboard with the Coast Guard

By Talaia Mika 15 August 2019, 4:00PM

School of Maritime students from the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) found themselves rubbing shoulders with local sailors and members of the US Coast Guard at Matautu Wharf this week. 

Local sailors from Lady Samoa Three joined the students and Coast Guard officers aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Walnut and FRC Joseph Gerczak on Tuesday.

Anchored at Matautu Wharf, the two ships invited the sailors and maritime students to tour the and broaden their understanding of sailing.

A group of seven students became visibly excited when asked about the difference between learning inside the classroom and getting out and onto a ship to learn from front-line experts first-hand. 

“It was an easier way of understanding because in our classrooms, we always hear and imagine but we never really got to see for ourselves of what the parts of the boat look like and how to carry out some activities on board,” Araisa Matai’a said.

"I am certain that what’s ahead of us will be much easier [after today] as this is our first time being on a ship and we’ve learned a difference experience to guide us through our education.”

Students were taught about the essential place of safety at sea. 

“Before, it seemed like safety wasn’t much of an important objective for us but after today, we’ve learned that safety more important,” Liema Likisone said.

The Captain sailor of Lady Samoa Three, the ship travelling between Upolu and Savaii and Samoa and American Samoa, Mamea Ah-Kee, said the tour was a chance to experience something new at sea despite having sailed professionally for years. 

“From my experience during my years of working on a ship, there are always two rudders I use while sailing but I just realised that this boat has only one and some other controls that go with it which is very interesting,” he said.

Mr. Ah-Kee also requested for the Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C) to bring overseas shipping companies to Samoan shores to further deepen the experience of local sailors.

One of the young local sailors on board, Fale Faaiviivi Lava from Vaivase was impressed by the on-board safety standards. 

“On the Lady Samoa Three, where I worked for five years, safety has always been forgotten most of the time and we’re always focusing on other important stuff specifically about sailing but we always forget [about] safety,” he said.

“We always remember safety whenever it's [an] emergency but, from my experience on these ships today, safety should be on our foreheads as sailors whenever we do our work.”

By Talaia Mika 15 August 2019, 4:00PM

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