Rebecca Thoirs, originally from Aberdeen, recently completed the Efficient Deckhand Course at the Scottish Maritime Academy. For the last two years, Rebecca has worked as a deckhand / dive master on super yachts travelling the globe. She has ambitions to gain her Officer of the Watch qualification in the future.
“This isn’t a career path that many young people in Scotland know much about,” she says, “but it can offer a lot of great opportunities for those who want to combine travel with a career at sea. I’ve worked with a lot of people from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand but not many British and I think that’s because people just don’t know where to start or how to get into this kind of career.”
She continues, “If you have some experience on a boat and you have your STCW qualifications and ENG1 then it is fairly easy to pick up a job at the main ports where these super yachts berth – Palma, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. That’s how I started – at the beginning of each season there are plenty of boats looking to take on new crew and the majority of training is on board.”
Rebecca originally studied International Relations at Edinburgh University. She then taught skiing in Switzerland followed by diving in the Caribbean. Here she met people who worked on yachts and she found a position as dive master on board a privately owned yacht, where she picked up deck crew skills.
“It’s hard work but good fun – a huge amount of the job is the daily upkeep of the yacht as well as anchoring, mooring and driving the yacht’s tender. You don’t get a lot of time off but when you do you find yourself in some amazing places.”
The Scottish Maritime Academy is located in the North east corner of Scotland, north of Aberdeen. Peterhead is easily reached by road. The nearest train station and international airport is in Aberdeen and a frequent bus service runs from the Scottish Maritime Academy.
Scottish Maritime Academy
T: +44 (0)1779 476204