Roll Call: SAS Simonsberg Signals School

Programme Notes: CTMT 2008

img_8016“SAS Simonsberg is a ‘stone frigate’ (traditional naval slang for a shore establishment) with a vital role, and it is where the South African Navy provides its sailors with a wide variety of specialised training, from maritime warfare, diving and signalling to fire-fighting, seamanship, harbour protection and catering. It was established in 1963, when it was decided to consolidate all the various training schools scattered around Simon’s Town to provide all specialist training in South Africa.

The school teaches students all the ‘mod cons’ and semaphore, the oldest of all signalling methods at sea. This is not simple nostalgia, but during an international naval exercise a few years ago, a ship from a participating nation suffered a total communications failure and ended up sending essential messages to SAS Tafelberg by means of semaphore. The Navy took the lesson to heart.” (CTMT 2008)