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First Female Captain For Blue Lagoon Cruises

First Female Captain For Blue Lagoon Cruises
Blue Lagoon Cruises’ Fiji Princess Captain Sue Balekana (left). Photo: Blue Lagoon Cruises
September 12
10:00 2018

Blue Lagoon Cruises’ Fiji Princess has its first female at the helm.

Captain Sue Balekana is an experienced ship’s captain currently relieving on Blue Lagoon’s M.V. Fiji Princess – and she has a permanent role in her sights.

“It’s a challenge as I’m used to dealing with cargo not passengers!” Sue laughs. “But I’m okay now and really enjoy chatting with the passengers.

“I would like to become the permanent Fiji Princess Captain one day in the future.”

Sue has made her mark at Blue Lagoon Cruises already as not only the first female captain, but also the first female officer to work on Fiji Princess. She is a strong and proud role model for other women looking at a career in the industry.

The experienced captain has stepped into the top job several times recently and is taking the extra responsibility in her stride.

“I was really nervous the first time I captained the ship. It’s a big challenge not only as a female but also the overall responsibility of the job.”

South Sea Cruises’ Chief Executive Officer Brad Rutherford says, “We’re proud to have Sue onboard Fiji Princess. She’s an experienced officer who brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the company.

“We strive to employ local Fijian officers aboard all our vessels and not only that, it’s great to have a female join us at this level. Captain Sue is a great role model for any young women looking for a career in our industry.”

Captain Sue has a long career at sea to her credit and a love for the ocean that began at a young age.

Raised in Wailevu on Kadavu Island, boats were the main form of transport and Captain Sue quickly took charge of her father’s small wooden boat transporting the villagers around.

Her love and respect of the sea grew from there.

Sue qualified as a captain 14 years ago and began her career working on barges around the South Pacific, Australia and Singapore, moving onto cargo boats, passenger ferries and tug boats.

She also has ambitions to further her training by studying for her Class 1 & 2 tonnage qualifications to add to her Class 3 Masters with Watchkeeper endorsement.

 

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