SA Agulhas

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Career (South Africa) Navy Ensign of South Africa
Name: SA Agulhas
Builder: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Laid down: 1977
Status: Active
General characteristics
Tonnage: 6,123 tons [1]
Displacement: 1,837 tons [1]
Length: 111.95 m (367.3 ft) [1]
Beam: 18.05 m (59.2 ft) [1]
Draught: 6 m (20 ft) [1]
Complement: 138
Crew: 40
Aircraft carried: 2 x Atlas Oryx

The SA Agulhas is an ice-strengthened research vessel. She was built in 1977, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Shimonoseki, Japan. The SA Agulhas is South Africa's polar research vessel. She has been in service for more than thirty years and is nearing the end of her term of service. The Agulhas is used to service the three SANAP research bases in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica as well as various research voyages. She spends most of her time out of harbour.

The vessel participated in a multinational high profile rescue of the Magdalena Oldendorff, another vessel in Antarctic vessel in 2002.[2]

The vessel carries two Oryx helicopters.

In September 2007 two crew members were accused of murdering another crew member after a late night drinking bout.[3] The environmental protection vessel Sarah Baartman took custody of the two men and the deceased's body.

Annual Gough Island - Tristan da Cunha Voyage

The SA Agulhas provides a cargo and passenger service to Tristan da Cunha each Spring, normally September. This is part of a lease arrangement of Gough Island to the South African Government where they maintain a Meteorological Station. So the ship travels out to Tristan, then on to Gough for the annual exchange of personnel and cargo supply. The voyage gives passengers an opportunity to have a stay of up to three weeks on Tristan, making it a very popular, and busy trip for visitors. It has provided a vital service to Tristan for over 25 years. The Agulhas uses CHC Helicopters who operate Bell 206 and Bell 212 helicopters which can be used to transport passengers to and from Tristan in the event of poor sea conditions.

See also


de:S.A. Agulhas