SMA News

Harry Forsyth from Fordyce had no previous fishing experience when he joined the Trainee Deckhand course in September 2017.

He had lost his job as an apprentice joiner and wasn’t sure what his next move should be when he came across this 12 week new entrant course to the offshore supply & standby vessel fleet and/or the fishing industry.

“Initially when I first joined the course I intended to go into standby,” said Harry. “ But as I got to know more about both areas I thought that fishing would suit me better. It seemed to offer more variety and although the time away at sea would be longer so would my time onshore.

“A current UK Fisheries deck officer came into the College looking for potential staff so I put myself forward for an interview and I’ve landed lucky. I got offered a job and when I completed the course I joined a crew of 30 on a freezer trawler “Kikrkella” fishing in the waters of Northern Norway & Bear island. We were at sea for 7 weeks and I’ve now got 7 weeks off.”

Harry continues, “It just feels like home on the boat. I thought I’d be ill, but I felt fine. I’ve never seen fish that big before. My role is mostly packing working an 8hrs on and off shift system. At 18 I’m the youngest on board and I get on really well with the crew. Fishing is definitely for me. In fact my brother is currently enrolled on the Trainee Deckhand course with the SMA!”

The Trainee Deckhand course runs 3 times a year at Peterhead and covers the basic requirements of a trainee deckhand including STCW basic safety training, seamanship and rope work. There is one examination at the end of the 12 weeks, no formal qualifications are required and entry is by interview. This course is sponsored by Peterhead Port Authority which allows all new entrants to receive Personal Protective Equipment and have access to survival equipment. The next course starts on 3rd September.

The Academy is also running an Introduction to Commercial Fishing industry course over the summer which is fully funded by the MCA and EMFF and administered by Seafish. It runs for 15 days from 20th August and is aimed at new entrants into the industry.

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