Saint to captain RMS St Helena
Cape Town - Captain Rodney Young has been appointed as Master of the Royal Mail
Ship St Helena making him the first Saint Helenian to command the
vessel, Curnow Shipping announced at the weekend.
The RMS St Helena provides the only regular life-line to the remote
south Atlantic island of St Helena and is manned by a mix of
"Saints" and British officers and personnel.
Young, 37, was a graduate of Curnow's long-established cadet
training programme. He joined the company as one of four cadets
when the programme was set up in August 1981. Of the original four,
two are now second engineers on the ship, which is owned by the St
Young is also Curnow's training manager and said the programme has
been successful in providing high quality training and employment
opportunities for youngsters on the island.
He said a high proportion of the 18 cadets to date have been
female. The ship currently has a female second officer, Belinda
Bennett, and two female third officers.
Among the current female cadets, one is training to be an
electrical/technical officer and another an engineering officer.
Curnow's managing director Simon Sugrue said the company's training
programme was fundamental to the successful operation of the ship.
"Over half the passengers at any time are Saints travelling to or from the island. A high proportion of the crew are from Saint
Helena. It is logical that the officers should be so, too," Sugrue
"Curnow has been managing the RMS for 23 years. We set up the cadet
training programme in the early days and it is magnificent to see
people's hard work coming to fruition.
"Rodney Young is to be congratulated on becoming the first St Helenian Master to be appointed - we don't expect him to be the
last. The next one may well be a woman."
The RMS St Helena under the command of Young is due to arrive in Cape Town en-route from Cardiff on 19 September. Thereafter she will shuttle to the island before returning to Cape Town to play host and guard-ship to the Governor's Cup Yacht Race which starts in Table Bay on 2 December 2000. - Sapa