IDIOTS AT WORK: South Africa’s First Black Woman Officer to Navigate a Submarine Dies in Accident


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[This is why men used to reserve these jobs for ourselves. Submarines are dangerous. If you're an idiot then of course, it is much more dangerous. I suspect this is due to the windy weather we've had lately at the start of spring. Jan]

Harare — Africa’s first woman to qualify as a submarine navigator, Lieutenant Gillian Hector (née Malouw), was among the three people who died in the SA Navy submarine disaster just off the coast of Kommetjie, IOL reports.

According to the government, the accident on September 20, occurred while an Air Force Lynx helicopter was performing a "vertrep" – or vertical replenishment – of supplies to the SAS Manthatisi submarine off the coast of Cape Town. A rescue operation was immediately started after the operation was halted.

Three of the seven submariners are confirmed dead. Along with the four remaining submariners, a crew member from the helicopter who had been sent out as a "surface swimmer" to help with the rescue effort was also found.

Earlier, the South African Weather Service warned of "damaging waves" on September 19 and 20 in the City of Cape Town/Cape Point region.

Malouw was one of the few women naval submarine officers in the world and the first woman South African navy officer to work on a submarine.

"The world is filled with naysayers and negativity but no one can take away what you’ve learnt and no one can take away your dreams," she said in 2019.


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