Wednesday 21st Nov, 2018

Women take the helm with patrol boat training

Photo: AMC Search
Photo: AMC Search

AN INCREASE in the number of women enrolled in patrol boat training has been welcomed by the Australian Maritime College.

Constables Annalieze Taumua, Rosalia Manutulila and Suisui Malu from Samoa, and Second Lieutenant Domingas Soares Ximenes from Timor Leste, are enrolled on seamanship and navigation courses at AMC Search.

According to the College, the four trainees represent the highest number of women enrolled in AMC Search’s Pacific Patrol Boat training program at any one time in the 25-year history of the program.

Lieutenant Domingas Soares Ximenes from the Timor Leste Defence Force’s Component Navale (CN) said she wanted to improve her navigation skills.

“I’ve worked on a ship since 2012, and have previously done basic navigation,” she said.

“I hope to become an Officer on Timor Leste’s new Guardian-class patrol boat, and the course at AMC Search is helping improve my navigation skills.”

Constable Suisui Malu, a member of the Samoan Police Force, has been at the College for eight weeks learning basic seamanship and gaining skills and knowledge to become a member of the Deck Department on-board the vessels.

Constable Malu is new to working at sea and learning what it is all about.

“I’m enjoying the Basic Seamanship course at AMC Search. It’s interesting and there is healthy competition between the participants,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to working on the new patrol boats – in fact, I’m hoping to be the first female captain.”

New Guardian-class Pacific Patrol boats, which are to replace the current patrol boats in all Pacific nations, also are to have four and six berth cabins, allowing men and women to serve on board while adhering to gender-based privacy regulations.

Pacific Patrol Boat program manager Barry Jones, said the increase in the number of female trainees was a welcome development.

“It’s fantastic to see the Pacific nations preparing to crew the new vessels by selecting female trainees. We hope to see many more women completing our training and going on to patrol their countries’ waters in the new vessels,” Mr Jones said.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Program has been operating for more than 25 years and AMC Search has trained the crews of the Pacific Class Patrol Boats for 12 Pacific nations.

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