Young Achiever: Kristopher steers right course
Kristopher Cameron knew he had steered the right course when he gave up an associate’s degree for a life at sea.
The 17-year-old started a three-year apprenticeship with Spar Yard Marine Solutions in April.
He has since helmed sailing training ship Spirit of Bermudam during a trip to the United States for repairs and a refit, and plans to attend a marine mechanics school overseas.
Kristopher said: “I always used to work on my motorbikes from a young age, so mechanics was something that I liked and was good at.
“I also had a passion for the ocean and the water, so it seemed like it was right for me.”
Kristopher, from Warwick, completed his GCSE exams last year at Warwick Academy and went on to Bermuda College to earn an associate’s degree and develop hands-on experience in the marine technology sector.
But it soon became obvious he was not the right fit for the degree.
Kristopher said: “I wasn’t 100 per cent motivated doing my Associates in Arts and Science, and I definitely knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something in the maritime sector.
“I was just waiting for an opportunity to take up the career.”
He later enrolled in the Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme, designed to highlight maritime careers for young people.
Kristopher said that the seven-week programme helped him land an apprenticeship with the Spar Yard at the Royal Naval Dockyard. He added: “I basically told them that I didn’t know too much about marine mechanics — and I can definitely say that I’ve learnt a whole lot.
“I’ve definitely improved with my people skills and my organisation skills.
“I’ve gotten better with paying attention to small things. Sometimes a small tweak can make everything right or set everything back.”
A high point in his apprenticeship was life on board Spirit of Bermuda when the ship sailed to a boatyard in Maine for major work.
He joined the ship in September to assist with repairs and help sail her back to Bermuda.
But his time at the wheel was cut short after the ship was forced back into port in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts because of engine problems and bad weather.
But Kristopher enjoyed the experience because it was the first time he had sailed on Spirit of Bermuda. He was also the youngest member of the crew.
Kristopher’s next goal is to travel to the United States and become certified in marine diesel technology and boat piloting.
His ambition is to own and operate his own charter vessel.
Kristopher said: “I feel like there’s nothing better than being behind the wheel of one of those big charter boats.”
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