Maritime Skills Course

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Montrose Academy’s boat, the Ronald Small, has been lifted out of the water after another successful year for the Maritime Skills Course.

The academic year began with the naming of the boat after the late rector, Ronald Small. This allowed the academy to pay tribute to the man and thank friends and guests for their support.

The school has worked hard to receive a 90 per cent grant from the European Fisheries Fund and the FLAG Administration, enabling the purchase of eight lifejackets and an auxiliary outboard engine.

The pupils have enjoyed their time on the water within Montrose port, with this year’s weather demanding the pupils’ respect and challenging their boat handing skills.

The course hopes to deliver a basic understanding and skills needed for a young person hoping to go into a career within the Maritime Sector.

The course covers: seamanship, health and safety within the maritime environment, small boat engineering, careers and employability within the maritime sector and an understanding of the marine environment.

Montrose Academy has thanked a number of organisations and individuals.

It is no exaggeration that the course is only possible due to the support of the Montrose Lifeboat crew RNLI, Montrose Port Authority, Montrose Swimming Pool, Scottish Fire and Rescue service, H.M. Coastguard ( Montrose) and Rix Shipping (Scotland) Ltd.

Individuals who helped in teaching the youngsters were Scott Murray, Tommy Boyle, Bob Flann, Paul Hamilton, Gary Somers, Keith Newey, Mike Cassie, Matt Smith and Ross Greenhill.

The naming ceremony of the Ronald Small was performed in September by his granddaughter, Freya.

At that time teacher Richard Bandeen said the four main strands of the course were seamanship, the maritime environment, employability skills and careers in the industry, as well as health and safety.

Last year the pupils on the course were able to visit an oil support vessel in the harbour, Toisa Vigilant, owned by Sealion Shipping.

There, they had a talk from the captain, Ken Whittle, who gave first-hand information about a career at sea.

Then, they toured the ship, from the helicopter deck to the engine room, and spoke to crew-members to learn how everyone worked as a team.