Oban man receives Merchant Navy training award

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An Oban man studying to be an officer in the Merchant Navy has been recognised with an award by Clyde Marine Training.

Craig McKenzie, aged 30, has been named Deck Cadet of the Year for the City of Glasgow College 2020.

Mr McKenzie started studying with Clyde Marine Training in September 2017, and spent time in college and onboard ships.

He said he was happy to have won the award and it came as surprise. He receives a certificate and £50.

It was working at the CalMac office in Oban, where he decided on a career at sea.

He said: ‘I really enjoyed being at sea as it allowed me to put all of the theory learnt in college to practical use.

‘Although it was tough being away from family for extended periods of time, I also had the opportunity to see places I never thought I would.

‘I have been lucky enough to travel to all continents except for South America during my cadetship.

‘I’ve also made friendships with a number of people from all around the world that I would never have met without working at sea.’

Mr McKenzie grew up and went to school in Oban but has not been home since November and was away at sea when lockdown began.

He said: ‘I’m looking forward to seeing everyone once restrictions have eased.’

Katy Womersley, general manager of Clyde Marine Training, said: ‘On behalf of everyone at Clyde Marine Training, we are delighted to recognise Craig as our Deck Cadet of the Year for City of Glasgow College 2020.

‘Craig is a thoroughly deserving winner, whose dedication to all aspects of college and sea-going life is an excellent example for other fellow cadets to follow. If he continues to apply himself in the manner he has done thus far, then we are confident Craig will have a successful and fulfilling Merchant Navy career.’