Sea Rangers set sail with new vessel
Starting this week, the Sea Ranger Service has a first ship with which the operational phase of its maritime ranger service has officially started. The charter has been signed for by founder Wietse van der Werf and the owner of the Tooluka: Eef Willems, for a period of one year. Eef Willems was present on Thursday morning at the shift change of the Sea Rangers at Willemsoord in Den Helder, the operational basis of the young social enterprise. Tooluka is a small vessel, yet extremely seaworthy. It is the first ship with which the Sea Rangers will work in the North Sea. with the insights gained during pilot projects over the coming period, the completion of the first purpose-built Sea Ranger vessel can be completed in 2019.
With use of Tooluka, the social enterprise of Wietse van der Werf has started the operational phase. “This is the next big step in the development of the Sea Ranger Service. After the Sea Ranger Bootcamp last spring we hired and trained twelve Sea Rangers. Now it is finally time for us to deploy them for the real work at sea: working towards clean and healthy seas by enabling active nature restoration, facilitating scientific research and supporting sustainable businesses in the blue economy. We are extremely grateful to Eef Willems of the Tooluka for giving us the opportunity to show what the Sea Rangers are capable of in practice.”
“The timing was perfect for us”, adds Eef Willems. “After years of sailing in Arctic waters, my partner Jan and I decided to spend the year ashore. We think it is amazing that our vessel will now be used by these young people with such an important mission. We read up on the mission and asked critical questions but the conclusion was that Tooluka is in good hands with the Sea Rangers. We see our involvement as another step to get this great initiative going.”
The vessel will be manned by a captain, a first mate and six Sea Rangers who alternate on two-week shifts in Den Helder. The young adult rangers were trained by sailing school Zeezeilschool Scheveningen after the selection that followed the Sea Ranger Bootcamp and will spend a year carrying out a variety of offshore tasks. The initial work of the Sea Ranger Service in the North Sea is carried out in direct cooperation with the Dutch government.