Fearghas Graham, a former Scottish Maritime Academy student from Sleat on Skye was recently awarded the Peterhead Port Authority Trainee Deckhand prize.
Fearghas was selected by lecturers as the best trainee across all the deckhand classes from the current academic year. The twelve-week programme, which runs three times a year, is designed for new entrants into commercial sea fishing and the merchant fleet.
Lecturers commended Fearghas for his attitude and commitment across both the theoretical and practical elements of the programme.
Linda Hope, centre manager for the Scottish Maritime Academy echoed those sentiments saying the award for Fearghas was well merited: “Fearghas is a worthy winner of the award as he has excelled in the classroom based subjects – stability, vessel construction, communication, maritime safety; as well as in the practical net hall activities. The sponsorship provided by Peterhead Port Authority is invaluable to the Academy – it supports us to run this course that trains new entrants in the fishing and merchant navy sectors.”
Since completing the course, Fearghas has taken a seasonal position with CalMac Ferries Ltd, operators of Caledonian MacBrayne – an opportunity which he believes the course helped him achieve: “The trainee deckhand course has proved to be incredibly useful in pursuing my career at sea with CalMac. Not only did it provide me with the necessary tickets but also the practical skills, especially knots and hitches, have been a huge benefit when working on board.
He added: “The three-month course really gets you familiar with the terms and jargon that you’ll hear at work. I highly recommend this course for anybody who is looking to have a career at sea as it covers everything you need to get started and then some!”