From left, Lulu Mwangala, 24, and Fatuma Ridhwani, 23. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

LSL Managing Director Twalib Khamis said they launched the programme to offer quality “sea time” training to benefit aspiring Kenyan seafarers.

“We are a young shipping company and in our own small way, we want to contribute towards the growth of Kenya’s shipping and maritime industry. “Sea time” training is mandatory for all mariners,” said Capt Twalib.

Sea time is the total time spent working on a vessel at sea, which is transporting cargo.

Lulu and Fatuma are the latest cadets to join LSL vessel, Amu 1. Their training will take ten months.

In a recent interview aboard the vessel at the Mombasa Port berth number 20, the duo said the training will change their careers.

“I am happy to learn as I work on the vessel,” said Lulu who studied Marine Engineering at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

“Growing up in Kilifi, I used to go to the beach to swim. I would see ships and admire sailors. That desire never left me. I am in my second month of training and I am enjoying every bit of it,” said Lulu.

She has also had onshore practical training at the Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Maritime Authority.

Lulu said she is also hoping to become a marine researcher.

“I dream of working on cruise ships and probably becoming a senior engineer.”

Fatuma, an engineering graduate of the Technical University of Mombasa, said the training will grow her career.

“We have competent trainers who are ensuring we get the best training,” said Fatuma, whose father, Hassan Ridhwani, is a seaman.