FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Voyager Maritime Alliance Group (VMAG) gives back to the community and donates to MANTA (Marine Science and Nautical Training Academy) a 24′ 1994 Zodiac Hurricane RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), with twin 2003 150 HP Evinrude motors. MANTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is affiliated with the College of Charleston (CofC). MANTA’s goal is to conduct marine science research and education, to enable CofC students to earn biology credits on the college cruises, and for High School students, who are aspiring young marine biologists and mariners, to get a flavor of this type of environment, for further study and personal development.
This Zodiac Hurricane donated by VMAG was desperately needed to complement the mother ship, R/V Manta, to transport the students, scientists, divers and gear to and from the shore, dive sites, and for excursions and exploration.
The Zodiac Hurricane had an open deck layout, ideally suited for transporting divers, and had a military grade ruggedized construction for heavy duty use. As you would expect from VMAG, one of the largest marine electronics systems integrators and distributors in South Florida for the yachting and commercial shipping industry, this boat had an electronics package that would be the envy of any first-class yacht, with two touch- screen EVO 2 Simrad monitors, Chirp transducer/depth finder, SIMRAD radar, and an autopilot. This impressive array of instrumentation made this vessel not only functional, but safe for the most extreme excursions, in whatever conditions that presented itself.
Dr. Rusty Day, the Executive Director, comments, “Our flagship program is a CofC summer study abroad field studies course in the Caribbean, focusing on the biology and conservation of coral reefs. The program is a live-aboard, boat-based course, heavy on scientific diving, and hands-on learning in the environmental and nautical sciences. We are truly grateful for the generosity of David Leone and VMAG to provide such an incredible boat for our students. The Zodiac Hurricane was a key component in supporting the educational and research efforts on coral reef ecosystems.”
David Leone, President of VMAG, was trying to sell his RIB and posted it online with YachtWorld. “When I heard about MANTA and why they wanted to purchase my RIB, I didn’t hesitate twice to donate the vessel for such a great cause. I took myself back to my student days, and how great it would have been to conduct dives and research in the Caribbean, as part of a College Degree. How cool would that have been, had that been me! I was approached by the broker, who then put me in touch with Dr. Day, and after several calls, emails and meetings later, that spanned over several months, my Zodiac was donated to support marine conservation. Marine conservation is an area I am deeply passionate about. I am thrilled to be to be supporting this project.”
The acquisition of the VMAG’s Zodiac enables MANTA to take their research and marine education to the next level. Combined with other donations, the plan going forward is to make the R/V Manta, combined with the Zodiac, to become a state-of-the-art platform for research and education in marine ecosystems, coral reefs and to make this resource available to researchers and institutions globally who share this mission.
For More Technical Information:
David Leone, President
Voyager Maritime Alliance Group
About Voyager Maritime Alliance Group (VMAG)
Voyager Maritime Alliance Group (VMAG) is a systems integrator providing a solution for all Maritime Navigation needs. We specialize in High Seas Navigation Systems, Communications Systems, Steering and Control systems along with Custom Pilot House Integrated Consoles.
We were founded over 30 years ago and have developed into one of the premier service providers specializing in the Commercial Shipping, Oil and Gas Industry, Military Vessels along with the Mega-Yacht market. Headquarters is located in Fort Lauderdale.
We have a history of successful projects of new builds and refits throughout the world, in such regions as the Middle East, Northern Europe, Asia, South Pacific, South and North America and the Caribbean.
The Marine Science and Nautical Training Academy (MANTA, www.manta-online.org) is a 501(c)(3) education and research organization focusing on the following mission: “to provide high school and college students a unique opportunity to learn about the marine environment, and to participate in marine science research and conservation. MANTA is partnered with College of Charleston to offer our core program, which is an intensive, experienced-based field studies course offering instruction in fundamental and applied marine science and the principles and practices of the nautical sciences.” Some recent accolades from the College of Charleston can be seen here: http://today.cofc.edu/2016/11/02/marine-science-british-virgin-islands/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul6yFIw8WX0
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