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Old 11 March 2004, 04:36   #1
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Volunteer opportunity for Rib pilots in Africa

We are an internationally respected wildlife conservation NGO, working in collaboration with the govt of Gabon, Central Africa, in the management of some aspects of a brand new network of 13 national parks. One branch of our work involved marine issues and requires us to run sea missions in coastal waters off Gabon, using RIBS and possibly other vessels. We are therefore looking for qualified RIB pilots interested in volunteering their services for 6 months to a year. The candidate would not be salaried, but would have basic accomodation, flights, and food costs covered. Duties will include the maintenance of the RIB (probably a Gemini WR600), and sea missions to patrol the national park. Illegal trawler fishing is a problem, and some fishing boats will be approached and photographed (with Navy backup). Missions are also likely to include census work for cetaceans (especially the annual humpback whale migration past the Gabonese coast), and other scientific work (inventories, oil pollution, monitoring).
The candidate will have relevent power boat qualifications and experience in open sea conditions. Candidates with the following skills and interests will be considered preferentially: boat/motor repairs and maintenance, rough water experience, general mechanical skills, interest in natural history/marine biology, some knowledge of conversational French. Candidates should preferably be single and in excellent physical condition. This is a unique opportunity for someone looking for a new challenge, adventure, and incredible wildlife.
If interested, please send a CV, or a cover letter to r.j.parnell@stir.ac.uk
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Old 11 March 2004, 06:16   #2
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Have I just gone back in time?
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Old 11 March 2004, 06:23   #3
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excellent physical condition.
How about poor condition but tries hard
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Old 11 March 2004, 07:43   #4
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Is it safe?

What insurance (i.e. insurance cover, insurance compnay and details of the cover) you provide to those that are mad enough to do this this venture:

1. that they will not be killed and

2. that they will not be kidnapped and

3. in general that they will not be endangering their lives

I think you are asking for something that is too much.

Just my opinion and I am not an 'expert' just been in many places so far
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:10   #5
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adventure of a life time

sounds amazing and would suit a gap year student!
however i agree with Manos on the issues mentioned, one thing stands out is the photographing of illegal trawlers (with Navy
back up) i take it then the poachers are not a friendly bunch then!
i think they would be better training up their own guys
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:14   #6
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Tim agree it sounds facinating.

However, is VERY DANGEROUS!!

These illigal fisherman curry guns and they shoot first and then ask questions. Not a job if you do not have some short of military training.

I wouldn't send my son or any one there even if they paid $10,000/month not asking to go for nothing. These people must live in a dream world or something.
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:20   #7
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curry guns?

Quote:
Originally posted by Manos
Tim agree it sounds facinating.

However, is VERY DANGEROUS!!

These illigal fisherman curry guns

blimey they must be tough guys
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:29   #8
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Re: curry guns?

Quote:
Originally posted by tim griffin
blimey they must be tough guys tim
They are. The way of life the live has made them so. Poverty, insecure, the law of the jungle kill or you get killed and so on.
Human life in these places is very cheap and worths nothing. White people are not all that wellcome and I think if you never been somewhere like that (I've been to Siera Leone 2 years ago. I think is also just next to Gabon) you cannot appreciate how is like.
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:34   #9
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Re: Re: curry guns?

Quote:
Originally posted by Manos
Human life in these places is very cheap and worths nothing. White people are not all that wellcome
Sounds like Toxteth on a Saturday night.
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:37   #10
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re curry guns

sounds like a place the French foriegn ? legion would be suited to patrol.
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:40   #11
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In all fareness I think Gabon is a French colony (X-French) and is more secure than Sierra Leone but this does not mean that is not dangerous if you are in the wrong place at the worng time.
And certainly to monitor pochers is a very dangerous job and you need to have military protection Foreign Legion or the SAS or DELTA FORCE.
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:45   #12
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you are right Manos i think they are living in a dream world
if they think they will get someone
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Old 11 March 2004, 08:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by tim griffin
you are right Manos i think they are living in a dream world
if they think they will get someone Tim [/url]
You never know.
Although it sounds completely mad may be there is someone crazy enough with nothing to do out there that may take this up.
If any one does go and manages to come back alive and in one piece can we have some photos please?
It will be facinating to see from the safety of our home
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Old 11 March 2004, 19:22   #14
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I am kind of interested if there was more information about how safe/dangerous it would actually be..I am not crazy.
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Old 11 March 2004, 19:29   #15
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lets not get carried away here guys...

To put things in perspective

I don't think they are expecting someone to put themselves in the line of fire. Lets not confuse Somalia, Sierra leone etc... with Gabon.

Whilst white/chinese tourists are viewed with suspicion/interest in some areas, it appears that this person will be working with a groups of others including local staff.

If I was single and this was five years ago, I would , personally, have jumped at the chance.

Angus - i would contact Parks and discuss it a bit more... sounds like an opportunity of a lifetime.

You have forty years to sit in an office/stay in the UK, take two and do something a bit different imho...
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Old 12 March 2004, 12:39   #16
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Re: Re: curry guns?

"Curry Guns"

Do they fire Vindaloo?
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Old 15 March 2004, 09:47   #17
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this sounds like a great oppourtunity. now then where is my flack jacket.
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Old 17 March 2004, 05:27   #18
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Volunteers for Africa

Thank you Angus and EdwardH. Something of a voice of reason amid rampant bad humour and rabid stay-at-home-ism. Just re-reading my ad, I guess it could be construed as a dodgy affair, but it is anything but. I really had thought that there would be more folk who would at least be interested to learn more about this. I guess there isn't much call for boating with humpback whales off the most beautiful coast in Africa anymore. Times have indeed changed since I first volunteered to go chasing after gorillas in the Congo rainforest. Its a pity.

With regard to safety, all the boats we encounter are registered vessels in Gabon. I know them all personally, and they are in regualr contact with the govt ministry here. They are in business and are not pirates. As such, they are obliged to behave in a manner befitting a legitimate business. However, due to the lack fo surveillance cover in Gabon, they routinely fish within the 5km exclusion zone around the coast. Whenever we approach them at this time, they immediately head out to sea to avoid being photographed/GPS's in the illegal zone. The most aggressive reaction we've had was when one of the chines on board lobbed a fish at us as we sped past - a tiddler! They often wave and seem pretty bemused by us. They naturally have guns on board, but they will not mess with a ministry sponsored boat carrying Navy personnel. We will intercept and for the most part, take pictures and data. Sometimes we will ask the captain to accompany us to our home town to make astatement. This happened last week and all went very smoothly. I shall personnally accompany most of these missions (as well as all the whale, shark. ray stuff) and have absobloodylutely no desire to take a bullet in the head for the sake of a few fish. However, as a conservationist, I am committed to having a damned good try at trying to influence the rape and pillage of the marine environment that is going on planet wide - at least in my own little patch of turf. We have considerable support from the local community and govt and this promises to be a heck of a project. Angus, write me in person for more info. Edward, the last guy who applied (and who I'm still very interested in) was 59 and has circumnavigated the globe in a RIB powered by vegetable oil. It takes all kinds.
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Old 17 March 2004, 05:45   #19
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Parks, please don't.......

take offence. I can assure you there's none meant. The guys on this forum are all a sound bunch who by and large use this forum as escapism from the drugery of working life here in the U.K which, lets face it is a far cry from the wonderful experiences you're enjoying.

Given half a chance and with the "permission from our wives", we'd all be there like a shot - I for one would love such and experience, unfortunately reality bites and we continue our 9 to 5 existance day dreaming of Whales, Sharks, fast ribs and warm weather.

Good luck to you I say and maybe one day !!!!

Graeme.
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Old 17 March 2004, 08:55   #20
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Au contraire, dear Parks, I'm sure there's a lot of interest in boating with humpback whales off the most beautiful coast in Africa. However, as MeMe implies, you need to be a little more realistic in your expectations. The majority of folks on this forum are 30+ years old, married and have parental responsibilities to consider - they are simply not in a position to up sticks and pack in full-time employment to go on an unpaid jolly to Gabon with the risk of being unable to secure a job on their return. I suspect you would be better served advertising your post on university sailing club notice boards.

Whilst you may feel aggrieved at what you perceive to be people's apathy towards your advert and the 'conventional' lifestyles of the bulk of the population may be anathama to you, you shouldn't necessarily interpret that as 'rabid anti-stay-at-home-ism'. Many of these people genuinely have no interest in spending 6 months in Africa or anywhere else come to that, and so what? I trust you'll continue to enjoy your chosen way of life, but learn to accept those who are not in a position to lead similar existences or who perhaps have more responsibilities in life than you do. Or indeed people such as myself, who having travelled extensively on business and pleasure, have no desire whatsoever to live anywhere other than the UK.
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