Former Scottish Maritime Academy student Kyle Rossiter, from Hatton, has been awarded the Peterhead Port Authority Trainee Deckhand of the Year 2019 trophy.
The 12-week programme, designed for new entrants into both commercial seafishing and the merchant fleet, runs three times during the academic year and Kyle was selected by lecturers as the best overall student.
On completing the trainee deckhand course Kyle went down to the port quayside asking local skippers for a berth. Skipper of Atlantic Challenge PD197 Alexander Buchan gave him the opportunity he was looking for.
Mr Buchan explains: “When I first met Kyle it was on the pier next to the Atlantic Challenge, with him asking me if he could be given a trial onboard for a trip.
“Instantly this set him out from the pack, usually we have a young man’s father or family friend ask us for this on their behalf, it was refreshing to see.
“In his limited time onboard the vessel Kyle has fitted in seamlessly. The crew speak highly of him, he’s been humble, polite and never been afraid to ask for help or advice on how to improve.
“Kyle agreed to work in a net factory on his trip off and has fully bought into what the crew and myself have told him, that some short-term sacrifices will bring long-term gains for his future in the UK fishing industry.
“It’s still early days, but by the time his training is finished I’m fully confident that Kyle will be at a level that he will have a long and successful future as a fisherman ahead of him.”
Kyle said: “My pals recommended the course to me – they had completed it and then went into fishing. My first trip was good but hard - we landed over 1900-plus boxes for five days fishing so it was intense.
“I was seasick the whole trip but I just had to get on with it. I will start seeing the benefits in a couple of months when I become more able and I can carry out more jobs.”
John Forman, Peterhead Port Authority Harbourmaster, presented the trophy to Kyle in front of the current cohort of trainee deckhand students.
He addressed the trainees and said: “As you move on from the academy you must now trust in your own ability.
“The knowledge you now have, combined with hard work and determination will open doors for you. Once you have gained your sea time you can then start to choose the direction you wish to take.”
Linda Hope, centre manager added: “This is a well-deserved award for Kyle.
“Thanks must go to Peterhead Port Authority who is an invaluable supporter of this course.
“The continued sponsorship provided by them enables us to run this programme with added value elements including the provision of mandatory safety certificates.
“On completion the trainees have all the necessary qualifications to work at sea in fishing and the majority required for the standby and supply sector.”