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Press release: Stichting Opleidingen Zoute Veren celebrates it's 30th annuversary

12 July 2021

Nes, 12 July 2021 - On 12 July 1991, the Stichting Opleidingen Zoute Veren was established by the Waddenbootdiensten and the Provinciale Stoombootdiensten in Zeeland. The aim was to raise the level of training of crews and to increase safety awareness. The training courses were then included in the Dutch Sailing Hours and Crew Numbers (Inland Waterways) Act and ratified by the minister. To this day, the boards of these “Zoute Veren” strive for an optimal balance between the knowledge and skill required to manage the complex ships used today and sail back and forth safely with the more than 8 million passengers who use these ferry services every year.

De Zoute Veren Rederijen, Texels Eigen Stoomboot Onderneming, Rederij Doeksen, Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten and Westerschelde Ferry, are represented on the board of this foundation, with Mr Gerrit van Leunen (of the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz) as its director. The Nautical College [Zeevaartschool] on Terschelling is accredited to offer and examine the training courses.

Meanwhile, in addition to the ‘regular’ nautical and technical programme of Zoute Veren, captains can also follow application courses, and the institute is closely linked to the safety training and pre-training required for crews.

“The safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority. Based on our responsibility, it is necessary that we safeguard the focus on quality and substance of the training courses for the future,” Mr Cees de Waal, chairman of the foundation and director of TESO, explains. “The important steps we are taking to make sailing more sustainable have as a result that ships are becoming more and more complex. In addition, the requirements for all aspects of management and marine science are becoming more comprehensive.”

The Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz has been offering the training courses since the early years: “We have an important job to do for this small profession,” Mr. Gerrit van Leunen explains. “These shipping companies fall under inland shipping, but have more of a maritime background, and with these training courses we are bringing these two worlds closer together.”

The training courses are offered annually and require that students have obtained the legally required diplomas Commercial Vessels Master’s Certificate for Inland Navigation and Skipper/Engineer Restricted Working Area. In addition, captains must have a Radar and Communications diploma.