Success following deckhand course

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A former Scottish Maritime Academy student has shared her success story following her time at the Peterhead centre.

The Trainee Deck Hand course runs three times a year at the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead and is suitable for anyone who wishes to enter the fishing industry or the offshore supply and emergency response and rescue fleet.

This 12 week course has led to many getting their first job at sea including Ishabel MacIntyre, from the Isle of Barra, who completed the course in 2014.

Ishabel always knew she wanted to have a career at sea having studied seamanship at school.

Her grandfather was at sea his whole life and her Uncle is a serving member of the Royal Navy, so a love of all things nautical runs in the family.

She said: “Since leaving the Academy I joined the Barra Island Lifeboat Service before getting my position as an apprentice deckhand with North Star Shipping and I have worked my way up the ladder to DC Coxswain.

“The Deckhand course at the Scottish Maritime Academy has helped me a lot - covering lots of areas that I need to know on a daily basis such as health and safety, vessel maintenance and anchoring and mooring of the ship.”

As Coxswain, Ishabel’s role includes taking charge and command of rescue craft and her crew upon launch, subject to Master’s orders, plus the general upkeep and local repairs of fast rescue craft and daughter craft.

Ishabel added: “One of the best bits of my job is helping to launch the fast rescue craft and daughter craft for different exercises such as pacing the ship.

“I also have lots of opportunity to undertake further training which is great.”

Linda Hope, Centre Manager, said: “It is really encouraging that we are starting to attract more female students into maritime training and, given the challenging climate the sector is experiencing at the moment, to hear of the success of previous students.” 

Callum Bruce, Managing Director of North Star Shipping, said: “With over 80 years of experience in the maritime industry, we are committed to introducing young professionals into the industry.

“North East Scotland College offers a trainee deckhand course that enables our cadets to develop the essential skills for a career at sea as part of our three year cadet programme.”

The Trainee Deckhand programme is a 12 week course designed for new entrants into the fishing industry and the Merchant Fleet.

This course covers all the basic requirements of a trainee deckhand including rope work, anchoring, mooring, safety training, seamanship, survival craft and rescue boats and maritime security.

The next course starts on Monday, April 18, and entry to the course is by interview only.

For more information contact 01779 476204 or email sma@nescol.ac.uk.