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Local lass SA’s first marine engineer

A Kraaifontein woman has become the first woman in South Africa to qualify as a marine engineer in the fishing industry.

Lucinda Krige was afforded the opportunity by Sea Harvest Corporation to obtain the qualification, what she describes as a great honour and privilege.

She is responsible for the operations and maintenance of all machinery onboard, including the main propulsion power, steering, marine systems, trawling machinery and processing factory equipment.

Growing up, she always wanted to become an engineer.

Her father, her biggest fan, arranged for her to meet an engineer when she was in Grade 11 at Forest Heights High School in Eerste River.

“The engineer gave me guidance and information on the various disciplines of engineering. In my matric year, I attended open days at universities and universities of technology and was even more undecided about which discipline of engineering I would pursue,” Krige said.

While working as a cleaner at a hotel in 2002, her father saw an advertisement in a newspaper and said he had found the right job for her, an engineering cadet at the Sea Harvest Corporation. 

“I did not know what an engineering cadet was and neither did he, but my father was certain that it was the job for me and he was not wrong,” she explained.

She applied, went through the recruitment process and was one of three female cadets among a total of 10 that started at the company in 2003.

From the start, Krige’s career has grown from strength to strength.

“My self-motivation came from the goal that I wanted to achieve, and I never lost sight of that. I had also fell in love with life at sea, the world of marine engineering, and my passion and love for my work has kept me motivated and driven to complete the programme. My external motivation came from my late father and training officer that walked the journey with me for a wonderful three years and laid a solid foundation in my career.”

She hopes young girls follow the profession as it incorporates a variety of engineering disciplines.

“One requires various skills to become a marine engineer. With the broadened skills set, you can achieve so much and go beyond life at sea.

The most satisfying moment is when you return from a trip at sea and know that you have completed the trip without having to bring the vessel alongside for any breakdowns and it is well-kept and maintained.”

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