RV uKwabelana

R/V uKwabelana is a 13m Category B Lee-Cat, propelled by 2 x 300hp Suzuki Outboards, has  ample deck space and is fully equipped for overnight trips. It can carry  up to 11 scientists and sleep up to five. Specialised equipment on the vessel  includes:

  • Davit and winch system to launch and retrieve scientific instruments
  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) to measure ocean currents
  • Integrated GPS Echo-sounder to map the seafloor
  • ROV station
  • CTD station

With a range of approximately 200 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 20  knots marine scientists are afforded the ability to sample the entire coastal  ecosystem (physical oceanography, marine geology, phytoplankton,  zooplankton, infauna, fish, marine mammals and birds) from near-shore to  past the continental shelf.

The vessel is stationed in Port Elizabeth harbour and works mostly in and around Algoa Bay, however, if individual projects require, the vessel can be mobilised to other locations.

Users of the vessel, many of whom use her on a monthly basis for long term monitoring programmes and equipment servicing, while others require less frequent or once off use. Some of the projects include:

  •     SAEON Continuous Monitoring Platform - Tommy Bornman.
  •     SAEON Phytoplankton of Algoa Bay - Eileen Campbell and Tommy Bornman.
  •     SAEON Larval fish of Algoa Bay - Paula Patrick
  •     SAEON Zooplankton studies in Algoa Bay - Shaun Deyzel
  •     SAEON MPA biodiversity studies in the Tsitsikamma National Park - Albrecht Gotz
  •     SAIAB Acoustic Telemetry Array Platform (including OTN) - Paul Cowley
  •     ACEP Great White Shark Tagging - Malcolm Smale and Matt Dicken
  •     ACEP Bentho-pelagic Studies - Francesca Porri
  •     ACEP Biodiversity surrogacy - Jean Harris
  •     ACEP Phuhlisa Programme – various projects
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