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Chance moves one step closer to dream of becoming a pilot

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Chance Anthony at the helm of the Oleander

A young man’s apprenticeship on an island-based container ship will move him one step closer towards his dream of becoming a pilot.

Chance Anthony, 20, joined the crew of the Oleander this week and will work with them as a deck cadet for six months.

He said: “I will be doing bridge operations, controlling the ship, as well as some standard maintenance tasks, such as painting, shipping and drills.”

Mr Anthony graduated from Mount Saint Agnes Academy in 2020 and is studying for a piloting certificate at South Tyneside College in Newcastle, England.

He said his experience with the Oleander would be his first deep-sea contract.

Chance Anthony (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“These six months at sea is considered part of my schooling. Then I return to school in September. Then I will come back and work on another ship.

“A total of one year at sea is required to get my certificate.”

Mr Anthony has always had a passion for the ocean but participating in the sea cadets and Endeavour’s maritime springboard programme, as well as sailing up to Maine on the Spirit of Bermuda, all while he was in high school, added fuel to this fire.

“Endeavour helped me get into this specific field and job,” he added.

Jennifer Pitcher, Endeavour’s executive director, said she was humbled to see how the programme’s different initiatives had impacted the lives of the island’s youth.

Chance Anthony on the look-out on the bridge of the Oleander

She said: “It is tremendously rewarding to see young Bermudians who have engaged in Endeavour’s experiential learning programmes pursuing maritime careers.

“We celebrate Bermuda’s maritime culture and seafaring heritage and are grateful for the many people and organisations that partner with us to inspire young Bermudians to work towards their goals.”

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation said: “The foundation has been and continues to be committed to helping young people achieve their full potential and has demonstrated positive results from its programmes.

Chance Anthony who is sailing on the Oleander as part of his pilot studies

“Facilitating pathways to maritime careers is one facet of this commitment; we estimate that approximately 50 young people have gone on to realise successful maritime or related careers.”

Mr Anthony’s training on the Oleander was made possible through a Government scholarship and the Bermuda Maritime Academy, which prepares Bermudians for careers on the water.

Richard Todd, chief operating officer for Neptune Group, which owns the Oleander, said that many young Bermudians had worked with the crew over the years, in different capacities.

He added: “We always try to encourage young people to come on board and get their sea time in with a local vessel instead of going overseas.

“The idea here is that many young people want to become future pilots, so they will shadow and work on the vessel, but it is also a learning experience moving them towards their ultimate goal.”

Mr Anthony urged other aspiring Bermudian mariners to work hard for their goals but stressed that ocean life was not for everyone.

“The sea chooses you, you do not choose the sea,” he added.

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Published February 15, 2023 at 7:47 am (Updated February 16, 2023 at 11:22 am)

Chance moves one step closer to dream of becoming a pilot

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