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NAFC Marine Centre’s annual prize giving

Students and lecturers with their awards, back row (left to right): Caroline Hepburn (Student Support Officer- for Ryan Trumpess), Joe Pottinger (for Steve), Calum Fraser, Harry Pottinger (for Callum), Derek Spence; front row (left to right): Ben Hughson, Joe Huntley, Colin Hodder, Jerry Gibson, Abigail Barlow, Maddie Thomas, Kathleen Cumming - Photo: Billy Fox for NAFC Marine Centre

STUDENTS from the NAFC Marine Centre proudly accepted awards for their academic achievements at the college’s 21st annual prize giving, on Friday.

College director Professor David Gray said the marine centre had now an international reputation for producing first class students.

One of the guests invited to the ceremony to present awards was Captain Gordon Walterson who has been involved in fisheries training in Shetland since 1981 and was part of the steering group that was instrumental in setting up the fisheries college.

The first prize was awarded to Steve Pottinger from Whalsay, who won the Sea Fishing Level 2 Deckhand Prize for showing a good all-round ability and producing his logbook to a very high standard.  Steve’s award was accepted by his brother Joe who is in his second year of a deck cadetship at NAFC.

The second award went to Joe Huntley, also from Whalsay, who won the Forbes Watt Prize for Navigation as the student who showed application and attention to detail while studying for a professional Certificate of Competence.  Joe is sponsored by Shetland Islands Council (SIC) – Ferries.

The Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) prizes for second year cadets who showed excellence in all areas of study were presented by its chief executive, Roger Lockwood.

The NLB (Deck Cadet) prize was awarded to Ryan Trumpess from Orkney and accepted by NAFC Marine Centre’s Caroline Hepburn.  Ryan is sponsored by Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd through Clyde Marine Training and is currently at sea.

The NLB (Engineer Cadet) prize was won by Jerry Gibson, who is originally from Rousay in Orkney.  Jerry is sponsored by NorthLink Ferries Ltd through Clyde Marine Training. 

James Fraser, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) presented the next three awards.

Mr Fraser presented the Nautical Institute Prize for a first year deck cadet who showed excellent endeavour and achievement to Colin Hodder from Elgin, who is sponsored by Gulf Offshore N.S Ltd through Clyde Marine Training.

The Bells Nautical Prize for a third year deck cadet who showed energy, enthusiasm and commitment throughout their programme went to Calum Fraser from Reawick.  Calum was sponsored by Anglo Eastern/DOF and continues to work with them.

Liam Cumming from Burra scooped the Clyde Marine Deck Prize for the best overall third year Clyde Marine deck cadet.  His prize was accepted on his behalf by his mother.

Duncan Kidson, NAFC’s Head of Section – Engineering, presented the next three prizes.

For the third year engineer cadet who showed outstanding effort and achievement, he presented the Northstar Shipping Prize to Callum Pottinger who worked for SIC – Ferries until a few weeks ago when he moved to Northstar Shipping.

The Clyde Marine Engineer Prize for the best overall third year Clyde Marine deck cadet went to Derek Spence from Unst.  Derek was sponsored by K-Line Bulk Shipping UK Ltd through Clyde Marine Training but now works as a marine engineer in Lerwick.

The NAFC Marine Centre Modern Apprentice of the Year award for the engineering apprentice who showed the most effort and ability in producing a high standard portfolio went to Ben Hughson of South Whiteness.  Ben is sponsored by Scottish and Southern Energy.

James Fraser was then invited back to the podium to present a very special prize; a medal inaugurated to acknowledge staff of UHI that have been recommended by a principal of an academic partner for giving extraordinary and distinguished service. 

The medal was awarded to the late Jim Thomas and was accepted by his wife Maddie. 

Duncan Kidson announced the final prize of the day, the Jim Thomas Memorial Prize, which was presented by Jim’s son Peter. 

This was also a new award in memory of Mr Thomas who put in so much effort into students interested in learning. 

Mr Kidson said: “I would like to think that Jim inspired our winner here – Abigail Barlow from Wester Skeld.  I know he had a lot of respect for her and would be so proud that she is now doing further study in Aberdeen.”  

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