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Six more skippers take the helm

Six Wey & Arun Canal Trust members have this month successfully completed the rigorous training needed to become licensed Boatmasters (skippers).

Kevin Baker, Derek Wright, Ian James, Robin Charles, Tom Close and Ken Broomfield became the latest members to join the Trust’s existing 22 volunteer skippers. 

The members have faced many months’ training to earn their qualification in a process that ensures both the skipper and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency are fully confident in their skills. 

The process begins with anyone joining the boat group who wishes to work on any of the Trust’s three boats undertaking a day’s detailed training in theory, boat handling, lock work and safety procedures. This allows the trainee to then join a crew and shadow a designated experienced crew and build experience.

Once competent, the trainee becomes a Boat Crew member. After gaining sufficient experience, a crew member can then be given substantial additional training to move on to the higher professional level of becoming a Boatmaster.  This culminates in a one-to-one assessment by an experienced Maritime & Coastguard Agency Surveyor, testing theory and practical skills, mechanical knowledge and law. Successfully passing the tests results in the trainee being issued with their Boatmasters’ licence.

Boat Operations & Crew Training Manager Mark Eyre paid tribute to the volunteers’ hard work and commitment. He said: “Completing the training is a significant commitment which requires a good investment of time and can be challenging, but it’s great that the Trust can now call on the new skippers to support the work we do.”

Gill Davies
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
  • Kevin Baker, Tom Close and Derek Wright after passing their one-to-one assessment.