Big boost for academy’s boat

Bill Davey, Jordan Dickson, Donna Jarvie and Jordan Milne are pictured.
Bill Davey, Jordan Dickson, Donna Jarvie and Jordan Milne are pictured.

Montrose Academy’s maritime skills course has received a big boost of more than £2000 to improve the school’s boat.

The £2033 grant from Marine Scotland will allow the academy’s boat, which required life jackets for all eight maritime pupils and an auxiliary means of propulsion, to meet the Maritime and Coastguard Agencies sound practice safer waters code.

Rich Bandeen, the organising teacher, said: “In short, this grant allows more pupils on the water more often. The school having its own boat brings pride and a sense of ownership to the pupils.”

Donna Jarvie, fisheries officer for Marine Scotland, said: “We were delighted to award a grant to Montrose Academy in order to help promote careers within the maritime sector.

“The fisheries industry has historically been very hard to get into, as it has largely been kept within families.”

The maritime course at the academy is delivered over 10 months and project activities include steering a given course, anchoring, watch keeping, boat maintenance, rope work, radio communications, sea survival, basic fire fighting and identifying career paths within the different sectors of the maritime industry. At the end of the course, the pupils will hopefully have gained a SVQ Level 5 qualification in maritime skills.

Marine Scotland is part of the core of the Scottish Government and was set up to manage Scottish waters in 2009. It leads marine management in Scotland to champion the cause for Scotland’s seas.

It enforce the current legislation for fishing quotas, from the legal sale of fish to how they have been caught. The problem of by catch and discard came as a shock to many of the students, who had given the problem little or no thought.

Marine Scotland’s science boat Alba Na Mara is a regular visitor to Montrose and is constantly working to gather scientific data on how the fish stocks and the sea beds are recovering to move the industry towards a sustainable future.

The academy thank Marine Scotland and Rhonda McFarlane of Angus Council’s FLAG Administration for their help and support.