Oceana Group cadet EUGENE BERGENS was nominated in 2005 for the Department of Transport National Best Technical Student Award for the Maritime Industry.

His nomination came about through his commitment and desire to become a professional deck officer within the fishing fraternity.  Eugene is not just a trainee/student but an example of the future officers that Desert Diamond Fishing is nurturing to change the face of the fishing industry. He is a professional deck trainee/student working towards becoming a professional deck officer.

Eugene’s progress in his academic and onboard training has been phenomenal compared to other training and deck cadet programmes in the fishing industry.  This is due to his personal endeavours as well as hands-on mentorship by the human resources director, training officer of Desert Diamond Fishing, Captain and Chief Officer of the Mv Desert Diamond.

Achievements/ progress to date

Eugene joined the Mv Desert Diamond in April 2004

  • Worked on the factory deck as a trainee from April 2004
  • Completed the following STCW course in April 2004
    • First aid at sea
    • Marine fire fighting
    • Personal survival/social responsibility
    • Pre sea familiarisation
    • Net technology
    • Introduction to Russian
  • 1st to complete onboard ordinary seaman task book and to be found competent within three months of joining the vessel as a factory hand/trainee in July 2004
  • 1st trainee to be awarded his steering certificate by the master of the vessel again within three months of joining the vessel in July 2004
  • Nominated to take part in TETA pilot programme National Certificate in Maritime Operations Deck NQF level 3 in October 2004
  • Successfully completed the National Certificate in Maritime Operations in March 2005
  • Whilst studying for the National Certificate in Maritime Operations he completed the Standards of Certification and Watch keeping Able Seaman course.
  • Completed proficiency in survival craft in March 2005
  • Top student for Desert Diamond Fishing National Certificate in Maritime Operations NQF Level 3
  • April 2005 successfully completed his Able Seaman task book onboard the vessel
  • Recommended to the Mv Desert Diamond to join the deck cadet training programme in May 2005
  • Promoted to the deck cadet training programme in May 2005.
  • Attended Grade 4 watch keeper training course, was assessed by the deck examiner and found to be competent.
  • Successfully completed the following courses whilst on Grade 4 watch keeper course:
    • Restricted radio licence
    • Proficiency in life raft
    • Haccp Level 1
  • From the date of joining the vessel in 2003, including his time away on training, Eugene has taken only 14 days shore leave.
  • Successfully completed his Electronic Navigation Systems Certification in August 2005
  • Successfully completed Haccp Level 2 Supervisor course in September 2005

Eugene has just started his navigation studies (T1/T2) at the Cape Town University of Technology in Granger Bay and is very excited about the new and long challenges ahead.

“Yes,” he said, “This will not be an easy road but surely a very fruitful one if you stay committed, know what you want and appreciate every opportunity your employer affords you.”