Underway Once Again...

08 June 2010

Underway Once Again...
Approximately 90 days since the the loss of the Sail Training Vessel, S.V. Concordia, West Island College International, trading as "Class Afloat", has reached an agreement with the City of Kristiansand, the Board, and the Managing Director of the Fully-Rigged Sørlandet, for the charter of city's iconic ship.  The Sørlandet is the oldest operative full-rigged ship in the world. She was built in 1927 at the Høivolds Mek. Verksted, a local shipyard in Kristiansand.

Representatives from the Class Afloat office in Nova Scotia returned this week following a series of meetings in Kristiansand at which a renewable charter agreement was concluded. The arrangement was enthusiastically welcomed by both groups as it offers a new home to Class Afloat trainees while keeping the Sørlandet busy on international voyages, throughout the fall, winter and spring months.
Class Afloat initially expects to place approximately 45 students per semester and a staff of 15 adults aboard the Sørlandet, starting September 5th of this year and embarking from Kristiansand.

The vessel will sail from Norway to Western Europe, into the Mediterranean and on to Northern and Western Africa before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, South America, Central America and Bermuda. Sørlandet will return to Europe in May 2011.. Shipboard classes are based exclusively on pre-university and university level material and the programme offers a high quality educational environment whilst travelling to a variety of ports of call.  Hands-on opportunities for learning with and from international counterparts are the hallmark of this 25 year old programme. 

The STI International Logbook and Basic Safety Training Programme for Special Purpose Ships is used, exclusively, by Class Afloat. The school's culture of safety at sea is, according to Mr. Davies, attributable to constant drills, well maintained equipment, crew experience and the rigourous delivery of the Basic Safety Training Programme.

Many will recall that all 64 students, faculty and crew aboard the S.V. Concordia were rescued from lifeboats off the coast of Brazil last February. The remarkable story is that the evacuation was concluded within the 18 minutes that the ship took to sink. Expert meteorologists have isolated a microburst as the cause of the loss. Concordia, positioned 300 nautical miles southeast of Rio, was making 6 knots in 15 knot winds at the time of her loss.
Per Filip Sommerstedt, Managing Director of the Sørlandet and Terry Davies, Chairman of West Island College International agreed that there is an inviting synergy within their new partnership, one that offers both organizations a promising future together.

For more information on this story and details of Class Afloat’s 2010-2011 programme visit www.classafloat.com.
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