Nautical newcomers net nine for Fleetwood

Published on 21/10/2019 by DTHACK

Fleetwood Nautical Campus’ reputation as the home of world-class maritime training was cemented this week when a student won one of the industry’s most prestigious awards for the NINTH time in 12 years.

Fleetwood Nautical Campus’ reputation as the home of world-class maritime training was cemented this week when a student won one of the industry’s most prestigious awards for the NINTH time in 12 years.

Dr Ewan McNeil is the latest rising star from Fleetwood Nautical Campus to become the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) Officer Trainee of the Year.

Dr McNeil received his award at a glittering ceremony in London, and was presented with his award by MCA chief executive Brian Johnson.

The coveted accolade is presented to future leaders demonstrating exceptional academic and professional prowess, and who champion careers at sea.

Dr McNeil, who also has a PhD in Cancer Research and FdSc in Nautical Science, is currently serving as a Third Officer in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. He said a career at sea had always been on his radar although after leaving school, he had initially pursued a career in cancer research because of his interest in the scientific. 
‘The draw of the sea was never too far away,’ said Dr McNeil,

“So in 2015, I sought a new challenge and embarked on a Cadetship with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.”
Dr McNeil said he was delighted to have been nominated and then to have been chosen for the award. ‘This is a tremendous achievement for my company, college and myself, and acknowledges all of my efforts throughout my Cadetship,” he added.

“I hope that this award will open opportunities for me throughout my career.”

Mr Johnson added: ‘Ewan described this as a great honour for him to have this award.

“I see it is an even greater honour to present it to someone who so clearly has the commitment and passion to maritime that not only makes this reward richly deserved, but also provides evidence of the calibre of those coming into seafaring.’

Dr McNeil’s award win is the ninth time a Fleetwood Nautical Campus student has won the MCA Officer Trainee of the Year award since 2007.

Previous winners include Tom Barkley (2009 winner), Karley Smith (2010), and Philip Cave (2013), who all returned as students to the Fylde college last year and passed their MCA Orals exam on the way to achieving the Master’s Certificate of Competence - the highest certification awarded to professional seafarers.

Earlier this year, 2017 winner Tristan Greaney celebrated his second Fleetwood triumph by achieving the MCA Second Engineer Certificate of Competency. Tristan has since been promoted to second engineer with Princess Cruises.

And 2012 Officer Trainee of the Year Lizzie Dykes has since returned to the college on a permanent basis – guiding students to future success as a lecturer in celestial navigation and chart work.

Captain Neil Atkinson, Head of Fleetwood Nautical Campus, praised all the award winners, saying: “I’m absolutely delighted that these winners started their careers with us as cadets.

“As MCA Officer Trainees of the Year it goes to show that hard work really does pay off.

“The staff here at Fleetwood are extremely proud of their achievements and we all look forward to seeing where their careers continue to take them. They are all shining examples and role models for current cadets and our wider industry.”

Fleetwood Nautical Campus has just welcomed its newest cohort, with some taking advantage of the college’s brand new, all en-suite halls of residence - and making the most of a £500,000 investment in state-of-the-art bridge and engine room simulators.

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