Hello again! Who knew that time could pass by so fast. Last week was truly amazing at the Seychelles Air Force (SAF). This week my colleagues and I, Johnise Philoe, made a new start at the Seychelles Coast Guard.
On the first day, we didn’t get the chance to meet the Commander of Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) (i.e. Col S Dine) instead we waited for the morning briefing to end then we were taken in the briefing room to get a rough introduction about Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG). We were openly welcomed by Lt Col Benoiton along with two lieutenant (Lt Wong Pool & Lt Anthony), a second lieutenant (2nd Lt Jeremie) and two officer cadets (O/Cdt Cecile & O/Cdt Elizabeth). Each of the members who were present introduced themselves and stated the role which they played in the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG). Lt Wong pool is the officer that is responsible for the Maritime Operation Centre (MOC), Lt Anthony works with the Naval Wing (the Naval Wing is mainly about all the military vessels present at sea or at the dock at base) and she is a navigation officer on PS Etoile, 2nd Lt Jeremie is an officer from the workshop in the Engineering department, O/Cdt Cecile is a training navigating officer on PS Constant and O/Cdt Elizabeth is a training navigating officer on PS Etoile. During our briefing, my colleagues and I also got a chance to introduce ourselves. We were also informed that Lt King is responsible for Hygrograph.
Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) is a defense force. They carry out Search and rescue missions, defend against narcotics and illegal fishing. They also carry out routine patrols. The smaller military vessels are mainly used for fast response and coastal patrols.
In the beginning we were broken into groups: one went in the Maritime Operation Centre (MOC), one in the workshop in the Engineering department and me aboard the military vessels, and then the following day we rotated.
Most military vessels are not identical to each other. There are altogether 6 military vessels used for routine patrols and for intercepting targets at sea. The only two vessels I wasn’t able to go on were Le Vigilant and La Fleche but O/Cdt Cecile made it clear that most had the same system to navigate. Aboard all vessels there’s a system which allows them to communicate directly with the military aircraft that is on patrol. The tours on those different vessels were very interesting. Did you know that the left is referred to as the ‘Port’ and the right is referred to as the ‘Starboard’?
Charts are used in both the Maritime Operation Centre (MOC) and aboard the vessels if the systems usually used has a malfunction and are not able to mark and identify targets but the results acquired by the charts manually may not be accurate.
On the second day, I was still going on tours on those vessels but this time I was going down in the engine room. Before going to the engine room, 2nd Lt Jeremie showed and explained the activities done in the workshop department for engineering. The vessel can be navigated from the engine room following the exact coordinates instructed by the navigating officer on that vessel.
On the third day, I was celebrating my birthday. In the morning I was placed in the Maritime Operating Centre (MOC). There I observed the daily task carried out by the soldiers and I also got a chance to witness how they plot the coordinates manually of a target on the chart. While observing them I got a chance to try and plot a coordinate given by them on the chart, I’m glad to say that I was successful on my first attempt. In the afternoon, my colleagues and I got the chance to go on a patrol on the smaller vessels, that is used for fast response and routine patrols. During our patrol each one of us got the chance to navigate the boat for few minutes. The following day we also got the chance to go for another patrol since we had already completed our tours around the three chosen areas at base.
Personally the tours was amazing with plenty information to take in. My best part was the tours aboard the military vessels because I got the chance to learn more about navigation.
That will be all for now!