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Bermuda pair prepare for life at sea

Two young Bermudians have set out for Prince Edward Island for a 12-week training programme to qualify for entry-level positions on commercial maritime vessels.

Allafia Butterfield, 22, and Raemar O’Brien, 23, left Bermuda last week bound for the Marine Training Centre at Holland College.

Updating Senators on the Department of Workforce Development initiative, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy reaffirmed Government’s commitment to “provide opportunities for young people to acquire world-class skills”.

Mr Butterfield, a former CedarBridge Academy student who graduated from the Glenholme School in Connecticut, plans to become a marine pilot. After completing a navigation course at the Bermuda College he spent part of the summer volunteering on board the new

Millenium ferry to gain valuable experience. He also sailed on board the

Spirit of Bermuda to the Grand Turks and the Dominican Republic.

Mr O’Brien, who also plans to become a pilot, graduated from Berkeley Institute. The Minister noted: “He has a love of the sea, and was inspired to join the programme following the loss of his brother.

“The five-month programme at Holland College will prepare these young men for entry-level positions as bridge watch and engine room ratings on commercial vessels,” said Sen Fahy.

The Marine Cadet Summer Programme runs from July 2 through to September 23. The two young men will be required to complete two months at sea on a Bermuda registered ship after their studies.

“Marine and Ports, under the guidance of the Deputy Warden, Mario Thompson and various local shipping agencies, has partnered with the Department of Workforce Development to ensure that the required sea service and on-the-job training is conducted and documented in accordance with the certification process,” The Minister added.

“Students in this programme will become well-versed in safe working procedures, including how to identify potential hazards and acquire the skills and knowledge to deal with those kinds of incidents appropriately.

“Courses include basic safety training, survival craft training, marine advanced first aid and radio operator training.

“Graduates of the programme will receive an internationally recognised training certificate from Transport Canada to allow them to qualify for entry level employment with merchant ships worldwide.

“They will also receive the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) International Award which is recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“This qualification sets out standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships. Completion of the required sea hours is a prerequisite for obtaining this award” said Sen Fahy.

“Another student, Vernon Harrison, former Head Boy at CedarBridge Academy is already further along the path to achieving his certification.”

“He spent four months on board the

Bermuda Islander and then began the Officer Cadet Training Programme at Warsach Maritime Academy in the UK.

“With the assistance of Georgina Sousa of Frontline Shipping, Mr. Harrison is obtaining his sea time requirements. The company is working with the Department to secure berths for him aboard local and international vessels,” said Sen Fahy.

Mr Harrison’s voyages on the high seas have taken him to Lisbon, Portugal, Algeciras, Spain, the Strait of Gibraltar, Lobito, Angola, the Canal Islands and Tangier-Med, Morocco.

He successfully obtained his Level Three Diploma in Nautical Science in the third phase of training. He is currently participating in a six-month training programme on board the

Golar Grand, a Natural Gas Carrier.

“He boarded in February in Point Fortin, Trinidad. He travelled to the South Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Magellan to Quintero, Chile. This voyage will be repeated several times over the six month period and will include Bahia Blanca, Argentina. We wish him well in his endeavours to become a Ship’s Captain,” said Sen Fahy.

“These are unique opportunities for these young men and for Bermuda. We wish all of these young people great success as they seek to acquire the skills required to take advantage of unique career opportunities.

“Marine training is only one of the successful programs that Department of Workforce Development continues to deliver for the people of Bermuda.”

Holland College

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Published July 11, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated July 11, 2013 at 12:51 am)

Bermuda pair prepare for life at sea

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