December 9, 2022: The U.S. Embassy to Mauritius and Seychelles, in collaboration with the U.S. Commander Task Force Sixty-Eight (CTF-68) based in Rota, Spain; the Seychelles Ports Authority; and the Seychelles Coast Guard, is organizing a Dive Engagement in Seychelles from December 3 to 23, 2022.
During this engagement, 13 U.S. Navy divers from CTF-68 with specialized expertise and knowledge in dive and salvage operations will be helping the Seychelles Coast Guard and Seychelles Ports Authority remove the submerged wreckage of the Oceans Bounty vessel – a hazard to navigation in the port area that is blocking valuable pier space. The divers will be diving for 7 to 8 hours per day, cutting down the sunk vessel into small chunks that will be carried ashore.
Members of a U.S. Navy Fleet Survey Team, together with Seychelles Coast Guard and Seychelles Ports Authority, will also be conducting a complete hydrographic survey of the Seychelles harbor area to include the Seychelles Coast Guard pier area. This survey will provide valuable data for future Seychelles Port Authority port expansion designs, and Seychelles Coast Guard pier renovation projects. This will be the largest survey that the CTF-68 team has ever conducted.
This morning, members of the press in Seychelles were invited to a Press Day to witness part of the salvage operation of the submerged wreckage of the Oceans Bounty vessel. A small ceremony was held before the event. Chief of Staff of the Seychelles Defense Forces Colonel Jean Attala, Seychelles Ports Authority Chief Executive Officer Sonny Payet, Foreign Affairs Ministry Director of Protocol Gervais Moumou, and Lieutenant Commander Matthew Kohlmann from the Office of Security Cooperation of the U.S. Embassy were present at the event.
During his remarks, Lieutenant Commander Kohlmann said, “This engagement is important because it highlights the robust security cooperation relationship that is shared between Seychelles and the United States. Both of our countries have contributed greatly to make sure this engagement is a success. On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank Seychelles for this tremendous support. As always, your team has gone above and beyond. Your generosity is a testament to the importance of our U.S.-Seychelles partnership, and to the things we can accomplish when we work together.”