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R/V uKwabelana is a scientific research vessel and only bona fide research activities may be undertaken on this vessel. All relevant research permits or permissions must be in place and in date and all regulations and statutes applicable must be adhered to. The ACEP Marine Platform is not responsible for any contraventions that occur either through negligence, ignorance of these statutes or wilful contravention of these laws by platform users.

Only the Managing Director of ACEP (Angus Paterson) and the ACEP Technical Coordinator (Ryan Palmer) are authorised to permit usage of the ACEP Marine Platform. These entities are responsible for the maintenance and management of the vessel. All projects using the vessel must be registered with ACEP.

All SAMSA regulations are to be adhered to at all times. Including and specific to the vessel:

Registering a Project with ACEP

 All projects that make use of the vessel must be registered with ACEP. In order to register a project the following is required:

  • Enter into a data and output acknowledgement agreement and with ACEP.
  • Provide a brief description of the project.
  • Provide a copy of relevant research permits if applicable.
  • Fill in the ACEP Project User Form (Appendix 3).


  1. Bookings may only be made by registered ACEP Platform users.
  2. Booking must be done through the ACEP Technical Coordinator.
  3. Projects are prioritised and the schedule is managed by the ACEP Technical Coordinator.


Koos Smith is the designated ACEP skipper for uKwabelana.

Any other skipper wishing to operate the vessel may only do so under the following conditions:

  1. Skippers are in possession of a valid SAMSA Certificate of Competence (Skipper’s Ticket) for vessels over 9m with the relevant endorsements for the operations taking place, and must have the relevant Pilots Exemption for the harbour that is being operated from. Copies of which must be provided to the ACEP Technical Coordinator.
  2. Skippers have obtained permission from the ACEP Technical Coordinator.
  3. They have been briefed by Mr Smith with regards to the operation of the vessel, and Mr Smith is satisfied with the handover.

Skippers’ Responsibilities

  1. The skipper must have his/her skipper’s ticket on person.
  2. The skipper takes full responsibility for the safety of the crew and vessel.
  3. If there is more than one skipper on board it must be agreed upon as to who is the responsible skipper for the trip.
  4. The skipper is responsible for adhering to all boating regulations.
  5. The skipper must ensure that all safety gear is present and fully functional before commencing to sea.
  6. The skipper is to conduct a safety briefing with all new passengers prior to proceeding to sea.
  1. The final decision to proceed to sea or cancel a trip lies with the skipper only.
  2. The final decision to conduct work from the boat lies with the skipper only.
  3. The skipper shall ensure that all crew and passengers adhere to the Personal Safety Equipment Policy (Appendix 1).
  4. The skipper must ensure that all crew and passengers have signed a SAIAB Indemnity Form (Appendix 2) before proceeding to sea.
  5. The skipper is responsible for log keeping.

Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

  1. The PI is to provide the skipper with GPS coordinates of intended sites at least 2 days prior to the trip.
  2. If the PI is not on board, they should designate a responsible scientist for the trip who will fill the responsibilities of the PI (Acting PI).
  3. The PI/Acting PI is to brief the crew about the intentions for the day and roles of each crew member prior to the trip.
  1. The PI/Acting PI is to notify and/or obtain the necessary clearances from the relevant authorities when operations are to take place in restricted or sensitive areas.
  2. The PI/Acting PI must carry a copy of all relevant permits.
  3. The PI/Acting PI must ensure that permit conditions are not contravened.
  4. The PI/Acting PI must ensure that the vessel is left in the same/similar state when the crew disembark as when they embarked.
  5. The PI/Acting PI must ensure that a trip log is signed.

Diving Operations

  1. All diving operations undertaken from R/V uKwabelana will fall within the Department of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003: Diving Regulations 2009.
  2. The Dive Supervisor for the operation will take full responsibility for the diving operation and is responsible for ensuring that Department of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003: Diving Regulations 2009 are adhered to.
  3. The skipper of the vessel is to have a Dive Boat endorsement on his/her Certificate of Competency.



Boat documentation:

Safety Certificate

Personal Protection Equipment Policy


Project user form (must be completed by the principal investigator of each project)

Indemnity form (this must be completed prior to any trip by everyone on board)

Trip Log (to be completed by the skipper)


Link to Weather forecast from Windguru


ACEP Manager

Angus Paterson                       a.paterson[at]                       046 603 5816

ACEP Technical Coordinator

Ryan Palmer                            r.palmer[at]                          046 603 5872

ACEP Skipper

Koos Smith                             k.smith[at]                            072 427 1437