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The Suri Crew

SuRi is capable of carrying up to 24 crew onboard
to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience.

Juan Koegelenberg

Captain / General Manager (South Africa)

Our illustrious leader started his working career in 1987 when he joined the South African Military Services and qualified as an Officer and Instructor of the Meganised Leaders Wing. He then worked for three consecutive years as an offshore commercial diver.

After ending his diving career in 1993 he joined the yachting industry and today has over 25 years of experience. His first position in command as Captain was in 1999 onboard 114ft “Mamosa” and then as build Captain of the 164ft yacht “JeMaSa”.

He has endless enthusiasm for SuRi and its operations and loves exploring out of the way and adventurous cruising destinations.

Captain Juan has logged over 400,000 nautical miles and has completed 3 circumnavigation trips around the globe. With this global cruising experience he also understands how to make yachting fun for the guests and crew alike. With this in mind Juan has a very good reputation for longevity amongst his crew and we can therefore state that he is well seasoned and an exceptional seaman.

Tomislav Trojic

Chief Engineer (Croatia)

As Chief Engineer of SuRi since August 2013, these engines run on fuel, oil and Tommy! He holds his commercial class 2 & Y2 Engineer qualifications with over 18 years experience ranging from commercial cargo ships, sailing and motor yachts.

Prior to SuRi, Tommy spent seven years working onboard the Owners previous vessel MY JeMaSa. He also spent time working on a sailing boat in the Mediterranean. In total he has circumnavigated the globe an impressive 6 times and clocked up well over 500,000 nautical miles.

Besides getting his hands dirty and solving any engineering task thrown his way, Tommy’s other passions include being at home in Dubrovnik, Croatia with his growing family and watching any football game on TV.

Mario Kamaric

Chief Engineer (Croatia)

Mario has been working in the marine industry for over 22 years as an engineer in both the commercial and private sectors. Mario brings a wealth of experience of small and large vessels to his role as chief engineer on SuRi where he is responsible for the maintenance of all water craft, engines, communications and interior systems. He loves traveling and joined the maritime industry to be able to meld his love for seeing the world with his chosen profession.

Originally from Split, he enjoys diving and spending as much time as he can in the water.

Hermann Greeff

Second Engineer (South Africa)

Hermann comes from the coastal city of Cape Town in South Africa. After leaving school he went to work at a Winery in the well known region of Stellenbosch, where he acquired a taste for fine wines and food. In addition to that he also worked at a Performance Shop that specialized in building street cars, and worked at a big International race track as a pit mechanic for their GTI Challenge Races. He joined the SuRi crew in November of 2015 as a deckhand, with SuRi been his first taste of the luxury yacht world.

After a year on deck, he moved over to the engineering side of things to make use of his mechanical skills and follow his passion, which is anything mechanical. While he has his Powerboat Level 2 certificate, he’s more at home in the engine room and is working towards his engineering tickets.

His interests include motor sports he also enjoys water sports, discovering new places and all that encompasses as well as photography. It may come as no surprise that he has a drone which he is becoming a bit of a whizz at.

Greg Vorster

Third Engineer / Deckhand (South Africa)

Greg joined the SuRi family in 2017. Coming from a ranch on the outskirts of Durban South Africa, and having to fix what you had gave Greg an interest in engineering from an early age. After spending 5 years studying at the Durban University of Technology, Greg gained a National Diploma and a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Using his skills he worked in the Sugar Mills in South Africa as an engineer before heading to Fiji and continuing on his engineering path, turning his skills to luxury yachts. His goal is to gain his Master Unlimited ticket and becoming a Chief Engineer.

Having a love of power and all things mechanical he’s a Formula 1 fanatic and been somewhat of a tinkerer, builds and restores cars for his own racing pleasure. He’s also a fan of the outdoors and enjoys water polo, swimming and SCUBA diving.

Clinton Roos

First Officer (South Africa)

Clinton grew up on the East coast of South Africa in a small coastal town called Ballito where he learnt to swim before he could walk. Naturally water sports became his passion particularly surfing and free diving however also an avid sportsman on land.

After graduating from school he began to set his path in the boat building trade. 4 years into his trade, he emigrated to New Zealand to continue on his career path and broaden his knowledge. After 12 years in the industry he holds an NZQA in Composite boat building, Wooden boat building and marine Cabernet making, making him a very handy chap to have around!

The first time Clinton laid eyes on SuRi was in New Zealand back in 2009, were the proposed observation lounge and sun deck was to be built. As fate would have it, the company Clinton worked for was chosen for the refit and Clinton was nominated to co-manager this refit.

After showing an unshakable work ethic Clinton was asked back to SuRi when in San Francisco 3 years later. Due to be extended and also have an overhaul of all her toys, Clintons experience and skills made him the perfect candidate to manage the projects, so he was once again reunited with her.  On completion of the yard period he was offered a job as junior deck hand and has worked his way up to First Officer.

SuRi has created many opportunities for him, the most noteworthy being meeting his soul mate and wife Duangruedee (Oil) on board, they’ve been together for 4 years. He’s done a full circumnavigation, all on SuRi, and notched up around 400,000 nautical miles.

He’s currently SuRi’s Chief officer and working towards his Captain’s license.

Thomas Checketts

Head Chef (England)

After studying pastry in the French alps, Tom moved back home to London to work in the Michelin starred kitchens of Gordon Ramsay, Eric Chavot and Gary Rhodes.

After working through the ranks gaining a broad repertoire, he decided to take time out, travel and experience new cuisines. He has worked outside of the UK for 8 years now and still enjoys travelling as much as ever.

Tom will do anything that involves being in or on the water, he is a qualified International Kite Boarding Instructor, a keen diver and surfer and his love for land-based activities involve tennis and golf.

Adam Carson

Sous Chef (Australia)

Hailing from the shores of Sydney Australia, Adam brings a wealth of experience with him to SuRi. After 10 years in the hospitality industry Adam gained his certification from New Zealand School of Food & Wine and worked as a professional chef for 3 years in New Zealand working at some of the finest Auckland has to offer. His culinary passions lay in Asian and Modern Australian cuisine, but can cater to the most exquisite of palates and dietary needs. After conversing with a friend who was working on a yacht, Adam took the plunge to the luxury yacht industry several years ago and never looked back.

In that time there’s very few shores he hasn’t stepped on, with travels that have taken him to Alaska, Iceland and Norway; to the US and Caribbean, down to Asia and over to the Galapagos Islands. With seawater running through his veins, surfing is one of his major passions, but can turn his hand to any sport, whether it be land, sea or even snow.

Adam is also passionate about keeping fit and living a healthy balanced lifestyle, he’s is also an exceptional guitar player.

Selina Carroll

Chief Stewardess (England)

Selina was born and bred in Yorkshire, in the North of England and joined the SuRi family in March 2018.

After turning 20 (a while ago now….!) she decided to head out and go see the world, which took her on adventures far and wide. She became a dive instructor in Indonesia in 2002, worked in Fiji at a 5* Resort in the outer Islands…hitched a ride on a sail boat New Zealand… and never looked back.

After tripping and falling into the luxury yacht industry over 12 years ago, Selina has managed to travel to most corners of the globe, racking up a few thousand nautical miles as well as few thousand dives around the world

Selina comes from a 5* service background and brings a wealth of knowledge with her to give you the high end service you deserve. A fan of both food, wine and travel, you’ll be in good hands.

When she’s not giving the best possible service, Selina likes to relax, take in new places and all that encompasses a new country as well as snowboard and of course SCUBA dive.

Gabriella Kitching

Second Stewardess (England)

Gabriella joined the SuRi Family in October 2017 bringing with her over 3 years of experience at sea and a background in luxury hospitality.

Gabriella grew up in the English countryside with her family. After studying psychology and sociology at college she found herself with a passion to travel, an open mind to experience and gain life skills and an eagerness to surround herself with different cultures. After living and working in luxury hospitality throughout New Zealand for 4 years she pursued a career at sea joining the Cruise ship industry as Retail Manager which shortly followed by entering the yachting industry cruising waters from the Med, Caribbean and South Pacific.

Gabriella is a foodie at heart and is always looking to enjoy a new cuisine, source a new fine wine, lap up a new destination with a memorable sound track and share a good time!

She absorbs the tranquil beauty our destinations have to offer. Understands the importance of delivering high-end service and looks forward to enhancing a memorable experience on board SuRi.

Duangruedee Maneepak a.k.a Oil

Stewardess (Thailand)

Oil has been a part of the SuRi family for a while as the wife of our Chief Officer Clinton, only recently joining as a crewmember in October 2016 when the position came up.

Oil grew up in one of the busiest cities in the world – Bangkok where her family reside. She has a B.A Degree in English Business & Communication.

Her first experience with us was when she was the Personal Assistant to the Director of Yacht Solutions in Bangkok while the movie “The Mechanic Resurrection” was being shot onboard the SuRi.

Oil is a professional photographer and in her spare time she enjoys yoga and golf and is now hooked on diving since getting certified last year.

Linda Mani

Stewardess (Fiji)

Linda grew up in Suva, on one of the beautiful islands of Fiji. She joined the hospitality industry at the tender age of 17 and after meeting people from all over the world, the travel and adventure seed was planted. When she turned 21 she left behind the beauty and tranquility of Fiji and headed to California where she studied for 2 years and came away with a Degree in Photography from Santa Monica College. So if you’re needing that little bit of extra help to create the perfect photo memory of your holiday, Linda is definitely the one to ask

To support her studies Linda honed her skills in hospitality and after graduation, stepped it up a few notches by doing private catering at homes of high end clientele while also as working as a freelance photographer.

Linda’s interest in yachting was piqued when a friend of hers suggested she use her wealth of experience in hospitality and her thirst for travel and adventure, that she try the luxury yacht industry. In early 2017 Linda stepped on board her first luxury yacht and has never looked back.

In her free time, Linda is a keen cook and always interested in sampling local cuisines. She also likes to explore new places which ties into her other passion and skill set; photography.

Giles Harmse

Bosun (South Africa)

Giles comes from the beautiful city of Pretoria known for it’s purple blooms. Following in the footsteps of his big brother, Giles joined the SuRi family in 2014. Being an adventurer at heart he has a thirst for knowledge and always looking for, and learning new things.

Having never worked on a yacht before joining the team, Giles adapted to his life at sea as if salt water was running through his veins. Having recently completed and gained his Yachtmaster certification, Giles is now working towards his Officer of the Watch certification, which is the next rung on the ladder for Giles to reach his goal and become a Captain.

Before his chosen life at sea Giles’s passion for a healthy active lifestyle earned him a job as Operations Manager at one of the top gyms where he grew up. Keeping on a theme, he also thrives on new adventures and exploring new places.

He’s a natural seaman having logged up to 60,000 nautical miles, also a skilled tender driver Giles brings a wide range of knowledge to SuRi, so you’re always in safe hands with him at the helm

 

Dejay McKinnon

Lead Deckhand (Australia)

Dejay joined SuRi in February of 2015 and comes from two years of experience on super yachts based in the Mediterranean and Australia. Dejay spent a lot of his childhood boating and sailing and this fueled his passion for the sea. His love for sailing also saw him competing as Captain for Sailing for his school during his final year.

Dejay holds his Yachtmaster Certificate and Powerboat Level 2 certificate.

In his spare time Dejay enjoys sailing, surfing and taking part in sport activities.

Michael R. Pettitt (‘Keli’)

Dive Master / Deckhand (Fiji)

Keli returned to SuRi in September 2016 as Dive Instructor/Deckhand, joining the vessel in his home country of Fiji!

Keli uses his vast experience on the water to give our guests unique adventures on and under the sea! Raised in Nadi, Fiji, Keli has spent his life on the ocean and has had a great passion for boats since he was a child. This passion led him to pursue work in the dive industry in the islands of Fiji where he gained his vast knowledge of water-toys and water-sports. Keli was employed aboard SuRi from 2007 to 2014 and has re-joined the crew after spending some time land-based with his family. During his time ashore, he managed a recreational water-sports company in the beautiful Mamanuca islands of Fiji.

Keli has salt water in his veins and loves any activity involving water. He is a skilled surfer, fisherman and wake-boarder-the list goes on!

Stephan Lemmer

Deckhand / Dive Instructor (South Africa)

Stephan grew up in the interior of South Africa and was drawn to the coast as a teenager where he took up surfing and boating. He joined the National Sea Rescue Institute in Port Alfred East of Cape Town, where he was involved in sea rescues, first aid, fire safety and boat handling. Stephan started scuba diving in 2010 in Port Alfred, which to this day is his favorite dive site, he qualified as an Open water SCUBA Instructor, not only can he teach you to dive, he is also certified to teach you to dive on Nitrox.

Stephan joined SuRi in 2015 where his previous marine experience of the various maintenance and servicing skills of motor craft has been an asset, he took leave in 2016 to do smaller yacht deliveries across the pacific and has rejoined the deck crew on SuRi In 2017.

Willie Amoe

Deckhand (Fiji)

Willie joined the SuRi family early 2016. He arrived in Brisbane from Fiji with his team of painters for an extensive shipyard period. His wide range of skills and work ethic led to his permanent position as part of the SuRi crew!

Willie is originally from Lautoka, a small coastal town on the mainland of Fiji. He is a professional and highly experienced painter, having initially studied the trade for three years in New Zealand and progressing to eventually own his own company in Fiji.

SuRi is the first yacht Willie has worked aboard and he has adapted to life on the ocean very quickly! He brings a great deal of experience, care and positivity to the SuRi.

Willie spends his free time at home with his daughter and loves to socialise with his large group of friends and extended family, eating traditional Fijian foods and BBQing. He has an interest in fishing, cars and travel and is always ready to try anything new!

Tom Martin

Deckhand / Kiteboard Instructor (England)

Tom hails from the South East of England and describes himself as a kiteboarding world traveller. He first learned to kiteboard when he was 16 years old and found a passion for it, which lead to him becoming an instructor at the age of 19.

Around this time he decided to leave the UK and set out to travel the world and experience different countries and cultures, funding his travels with teaching. Having worked in Thailand, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Greece, Dominican Republic, Dutch Antilles, and Brazil. Experiencing some of the best wind spots nature has to offer.

Using his 6 years of teaching experience Tom can give guests the best opportunity to learn kiteboarding in the safest and most enjoyable way there is.

Vanessa Vastag

Masseuse

Vanessa has been involved in the health, fitness and wellness industry since the age of 18 and has worked in the international yachting industry for the past 12 years. She has worked onboard many yachts and in private homes globally sharing both her interest and passion for educating and passing on her in-depth knowledge and knowhow of maintaining a healthy body and mind both physically and emotionally.

Vanessa holds certifications in massage therapy, personal training and Vibrant Living yoga instruction and offers a variety of massage techniques including relaxation, Swedish, Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapies. As a personal trainer and yoga instructor Vanessa also can assist in creating long lasting developmental pathways into healthy change and positive growth.

Outside of her work you will find her honing in and expanding on her own health and fitness, writing her novel, spending time with friends and family around the globe and taking in, admiring and exploring new and fabulous destinations worldwide!

Steven Zito

Helicopter Pilot (USA)

Steve's passions are flying helicopters and private planes. His talents are not only in flying, he also enjoys surfing, diving, and motor crossing. He is also SuRi’s very skilled under water photographer, always up for taking a challenging shot

Steve has been flying SuRi’s helicopter since 2008 and is happy to show off his flying skills!

Dan Nickens

Aviation Pilot (USA)

Dan our trusty Sea Plane pilot has been flying for more than 30 years and has an immense passion for the sea and aeronautics.  He has degrees in marine geology, coastal & oceanographic engineering, and law from the University of Florida. After a professional career managing explosive, reactive, and radioactive wastes, he retired to fly seaplanes. He is a Commercial Pilot with more than 8500 flight hours, 4500 in seaplanes.

He has been flying his favourite seaplane SuRi’s SeaRey since 2010 and will more than happily take you for a spin!