As part of Maritime UK Week we spoke to Kyle James who worked with us here at Cattewater Harbour Commissioners during his time at University. Kyle is currently working with the British Antarctic Survey.

“My first taste of a maritime career was joining the RNLI at the age of 14 as a Duke of Edinburgh Award student. I swiftly joined the crew at the age of 17 and am currently training as a helmsman.

Upon leaving school, I undertook an Apprenticeship in marine engineering in a small marine civil engineering company based in the Bristol Channel. I worked on a variety of harbour and work vessels carrying out a range of projects.

When I completed my cadetship, I decided to return to college to achieve my A-levels. This allowed me to move to Plymouth, where I undertook my University degree. The degree was a BSc in Navigation and Maritime Science which also included my Merchant Navy Cadetship. To achieve the 12 months required sea-time to qualify as an OOW, I served at sea on both container ships and car carriers.

During my time at University, I was lucky enough to gain employment with Cattewater Harbour Commissioners and work on their pilot, tug and patrol vessels.

Since qualifying as an officer of the watch, I have served on a dredger operating out of the river Thames and I am currently onboard the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross, operated by the British Antarctic Survey. We are currently alongside in Harwich preparing the vessel for its long voyage down south with the new crew next month. The vessel will proceed to Antarctica to resupply scientific research bases.

I’m also involved with the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and have recently been involved in the formation of the companies Young Officers Committee.”

Captain Richard Allan comments “We’re really proud to watch Kyle’s career progression from his time here with us. Cattewater Harbour Commissioners has a strong relationship with the University of Plymouth and we’re pleased to be able to offer students the opportunity to gain work experience as part of their maritime studies with us as deck crew on either our pilot vessel and/or tug.”

Maritime UK Week has been organised as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the UK’s maritime sector, its role and future. It follows a period where the maritime sector’s role as the fundamental enabler of trade and critical freight supplies into the country were reasserted during the COVID-19 pandemic.