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Anchors aweigh for trainee Merchant Navy officer who fulfilled childhood dream

Marcus Simmons, who is training to be a Merchant Navy deck officer in Scotland, has been offered a job with a major shipping company (Photograph supplied)

A Merchant Navy Officer Cadet at college in the UK is destined for a life on the ocean waves after he secured a job as a junior officer with a billion-dollar plus shipping company.

Marcus Simmons, from Warwick, was offered the trainee role with UK-based global shipping line Zodiac Maritime.

Mr Simmons said that if he passed his last three exams, he expected to start with Zodiac around June.

He added: “My job would consist of keeping a navigational watch, maintaining life-saving appliances, so looking after the lifeboat, lifebuoys, life jackets, firefighting equipment and preparing documents for entering into ports.”

Mr Simmons, 27, has wanted to go to sea since his days at Purvis Primary School in Warwick, where he could hear cruise ships steaming into Hamilton Harbour.

Now he is near the end of his studies on the Stream Marine Training course at the City of Glasgow College in Scotland.

Mr Simmons applied for the nautical studies course after he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics at Birmingham City University in England.

He said: “I needed a change and decided to pursue a childhood dream of being a harbour pilot.”

Mr Simmons enrolled on a three-year course to obtain Officer of the Watch certification, which included two stints at sea that added up to a year on board ships.

Both training voyages were with container vessels operated by Zodiac Maritime.

Mr Simmons travelled to China, South Korea and Los Angeles aboard the Hyundai Pluto between November 2020 and July 2021.

He shipped out on the 300-metre CSAV Toconao from July to December 2019 to Singapore, China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Australia.

Mr Simmons said: “It was a good experience being on those ships.

“I got to meet a lot of people from around the world and see places people only dream about.

“It had its challenges, like being away from home for long periods of time but I like my own company so it didn’t faze me as much.

“Plus, I got to go to sea with a few of my classmates, so I wasn’t completely by myself.”

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Published January 15, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated January 15, 2022 at 7:46 am)

Anchors aweigh for trainee Merchant Navy officer who fulfilled childhood dream

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