Samoa’s first female sea captain certified

Samoa has a first woman qualified to captain an ocean going vessel. She is 30 year old Ilalegagana Kenesareta Moananu.

She was among the 136 graduates of the Samoa Shipping Corporation Maritime Academy presented with their certificates last Wednesday.

Moananu will navigate the ship, operate it safely and efficiently, care for the safety of the passengers and cargo, ensure the seaworthiness of the ship, manage crew and supervise the loading and unloading.

Attaining the rank of sea captain is the realisation of a dream for Moananu.  “It was something that was on my mind for long time,” she told Newsline.

Her training as a sailor dated back to 2008 at the National University of Samoa Maritime School. She was one of the two females in that cohort.

She went on to work on Lady Samoa III for six years and Lady Naomi which services the route between Tutuila and Samoa.

In 2018 she made the choice to resign from her job and go back to study for her sea captain qualification full time.

Moananu is advising women who are pursuing maritime studies to get to the top and that everything is possible through faith and determination.

Not complacent with what she has already achieved Moananu plans to do more advanced qualifications.

Moananu will continue to work for the Corporation as an instructor in the Samoa Shipping Corporation Maritime Academy.