Marine Scene began operations in 1999, with Grant and Michèle Spooner at the helm, responding to a need within Cape Town’s developing film and television industry for professional technical support on all marine scenes being filmed in our many aquatic locations. Our dynamic crew set a new course in the winter of 2000 to include high-profile marine sporting events with our involvement in the first official Red Bull Big Wave Africa contest which continued annually until 2008.
This enabled us to further develop our unique skill sets as well as our vast capabilities and resources. Grant held the position of Marine Operations Director for the contest, managing a Water Safety Team that the renowned American water safety expert Shawn Alladio rated as “the best in the world”. His name is now synonymous with boat based extreme surf operations in Africa and there is nobody more experienced to pilot a boat into position in the huge seas off our coastline.
Marine Scene has since been the official water safety and marine logistics service to numerous high profile events in our waters including the Volvo Ocean Race, the Global Challenge, the Red Bull Flugtag, the World Surf League J-Bay Open and the World Triathlon Series. A passion to protect our oceans and coastline has also led us on a journey involving education, training and eco-tourism where we have found outlets to share our vision of marine conservation and sustainable utilization of our marine resources. The Tools Of Our Trade:
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We may service Hollywood but we don’t believe in Mickey Mouse when it comes to the tools of our trade. Marine Scene constantly strives for the highest standards through every aspect of our operation, from our towing vehicles to the boats, platforms and all the marine equipment that we use to provide our world-class marine services, our clients can rest assured that they have only the best of the best available to them. We do not compromise on reliability, durability, quality or safety! This is especially the case with our boats.
Our technical support capabilities are unsurpassed in that we operate a primary in-house fleet of four commercially certified, high-powered Gemini 8.5m Rigid Inflatable Boats. We generally use powerful, twin-engine boats when going to sea so that nothing is left to chance. The outboard engines used to power our vessels are cutting edge 4-stroke technology and have a low carbon footprint yet are strong enough to endure many rigorous hours of operation without any concerns.
They are built tough and consistently deliver. Endurance, reliability and strength in a powerful package, with a combined range of 300 – 450 hp, these vessels cruise comfortably at speeds of 25 -28 knots with a top speed of 50 knots in good conditions. Ultimate efficiency; saving you time, saving you money.
As professionals, we also do not believe that our passengers should have to sit on the pontoons when travelling with us. We have 12 to 14 specially designed “jockey seats” on all of our 850 support R.I.B’s which provide a safe and comfortable ride. The design and configuration of these seats minimizes the possibility of losing gear and personal effects or, more importantly, crew overboard.
The seats are completely removable so that within half an hour the deck of the R.I.B can be cleared partially or completely for specialized operations. Grant has been instrumental in the design and manufacturing process of these R.I.B’s, based on the success and versatility of our flagship Whalesong. They are all certified for commercial diving, and to travel the entire South African coast up to 40nm offshore, day and night.
It is the only way to operate on an international stage and we are constantly being thanked by Producers and Events organisers for making them look so good to their foreign clients, and for setting the bar. Marine Scene has for many years been a proud brand ambassador for Gemini Marine, a South African manufacturer of a world leading range of Inflatable craft, exported all over the world for use in the Commercial, Police, Military and Rescue sectors.
Most commonly utilizing their Waverider series RIB’s; the 550, 650, 730 and of course the internationally renowned 850’s; extensively in the many boating applications and industries we service. The Waverider 850 is currently considered GEMINI’s international Benchmark product and year-on year best seller, for good reason, its versatility and proven ability in rough conditions continue to distinguish it from the other brands.
Gemini Marine, is the sole provider of rescue and work vessels to amongst others the National Sea Rescue Institute, D.E.A.T Fisheries Patrol vessels and the National Ports Authority, this clearly speaks volumes with regards to the stringent safety standards and exceptional build quality with which these vessels are manufactured.
Although we at Marine Scene over-spec our boats, designing them fit-for-purpose, some of the features of our flagship WR850’s includes:
Mil-Spec “Hypalon” tubes (1100Dtex)
Hulls are “Highest in Class” drop-test rated
Full house Electronics Package: GPS/ Plotters/Sounders; VHF
Additional First Aid, Fire-fighting and Distress equipment
Reinforced on/in deck mounting & fixing points
Oversized Fuel tanks below deck fitted to ISO standards
Selection of on-deck hardware configurations; seats, stowage containers,
SCUBA tank racks, Camera base mounts amongst others.
In addition to the variety of R.I.B’s and I.B’s, we have an 11m Gee Cat, two 7.5m x 4m floating platforms known as Grip Ships that carry the Super Techno crane, 7 specialised P.W.C’s (Jetski’s) and every piece of marine equipment you can think of, to meet client requirements on the water. We have key subcontractors from whom we charter bigger vessels to accommodate large crews at sea and an experienced land-based Marine Production team to synchronize our efforts efficiently.
Our personnel compliment includes:
Marine Coordinators and Boat Wranglers
Technical Consultants (OH&S, Risk Assessments, etc.)
Specialist Skippers and Crew for sailing and stunt work
Certified Lifesavers & Surface Rescue Swimmers
Level 7 Paramedic Rescue Divers supported by medical emergency services
Class II Diving Supervisors and Class III Commercial Divers for rigging,
recovery work and all underwater support (Direction, Camera, Grips, Lighting, Cast, SFX and Stunts)
True to the spirit of professionalism that we embrace, our vehicle fleet consists of some very serious 4×4 vehicles; primarily Toyota Land Cruisers and a Nissan Patrol GRX, these vehicles are amongst the most highly renowned 4×4 vehicles internationally. Their reliability and extreme engineering has earned them reputations as benchmark performance vehicles chosen for service in the harshest environments across the globe, these are potent work vehicles that are built Africa-tough! Their strength, power and reliability allow us extreme mobility with our trailer-borne craft…no matter where we are needed we have what we need to get there… at your beck and call.
From 2001 we have offered coastal tours on customized power boats, the only company in Africa to cater for single excursions for large groups on these types of vessels. We now offer a bouquet of exciting Marine Adventures; unforgettable coastal experiences for local and international tourists, corporate team development and incentive travel groups.
Safety-conscious, commercially insured and fully compliant with all SAMSA regulations, we also pride ourselves on our professional and competent staff, with their intimate understanding, experience and local knowledge of both the notorious Cape of Storms and the diverse marine wildlife found in and out of the water. In recent years the commercial maritime sector has also benefited from Marine Scene’s impeccable work ethic, stringent safety standards and capable marine logistical approach.
By coordinating our highly skilled crew, state-of the-art equipment and vessels; professional teams and support services are mustered for short-term operations, supplementary contracts and emergency situations. Marine Scene has worked in the Seychelles, Maldives, France, Italy, Mozambique and Mauritius. Part of an extensive international network of industry players, we are able to facilitate and manage marine operations anywhere in the world.
A truly world class outfit whose cutting edge expertise, service excellence, all-hands-on deck approach and sense of “can do, will do” is sought after by a range of industries who seek professional specialists with the highest standards.