November 22, 2017

On 11th September 2017, training certificates were awarded to a new class of 4 Gabonese Surfers pilots. Gildas Courau, Bourbon Gabon Managing Director, highlights the importance of the development of local expertise. Alongside him, Fabien Pacaud, pilot and referent trainer for this new class, is happy to be able to count on these new pilots. They remarks…

For the past three years, Bourbon Gabon has run a program to encourage the employment of local pilots for 1800 Surfers. This process helps to confirm Bourbon Gabon in its status as a local offshore marine services company and facilitates the reduction of operating costs for the Surfers within a persistently constrained local market.

The limited number of local candidates requires vigilance and demonstrates a need to proceed progressively in order to preserve the necessary operational standards. «The objective of this training program, over several years, is to achieve 100% of Gabonese pilots on Surfer 1800s by 2020» Gildas Courau says.

" The objective of this training program, over several years, is to achieve 100% of Gabonese pilots on Surfer 1800s by 2020 "
Gildas COURAUbourbon gabon's managing director


After obtaining their Captain 500 diplomas in Morocco, 4 Gabonese seamen, successfully completed the “Fast Crew Boat Training” course at the BOURBON Training Center in Gabon. This in-house training course, developed by BOURBON and consisting of 4 programs (Basic, Operations, Pilot, Engineer) includes periods devoted to theory, practice on simulators, and onboard practice. « Future pilots of Surfer 1800s, they are now ready to go to sea for 10 days in tandem with a senior pilot » Fabien Pacaud explains. « They will then be assessed by the referent pilot before becoming junior pilots. » 

The local BOURBON organization allowed these trainees to use an operational Surfer, to access to the repair workshop for main engines as well as to the Surfer Repair Center.

 « At the current pace, around ten pilots will be trained every year. I wish these young pilots every success with their new responsibilities! May they maintain the humility necessary for any seafarer and rigorously apply the procedures to continuously ensure the best service and guarantee the satisfaction of our clients » Gildas Courau concludes.

Bourbon behind the scenes